According to the Palestine Press News Agency (Palpress) the Palestinian Contractors Union has stated that two Israeli companies have won bids for reconstructing water distilling stations destroyed by Israel during the war on Gaza (December 2008 – January 2009).The Union said that it is appalled by the fact that Israel, despite the fact that it has imposed a deadly siege on Gaza for more than six years which still continues, and was the cause of this massive destruction in the first place, is now winning bids for reconstructing what it destroyed.

Union Secretary, Osama Kahil, stated that the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICIF) “deprived Palestinian companies from winning these bids and granted them to Israeli companies”.

Kahil added that Israeli companies then contacted Gaza-based contractors asking them to carry out these construction projects on their behalf for half of the total fees these companies are receiving.

He further stated that two contractors from Gaza have already completed two water-distilling contracts obtained by Israeli companies, Palpress reported.

The Palestinian Contractors Union strongly denounced these violations, and stated that UNICEF in Jerusalem said that it dealt with Israeli companies on the basis that they are “local companies”, thus, “Israeli contractors are regarded as local contractors”.

The union said that it had contacted all local contractors in Gaza asking them not to do business with Israeli companies in this way, affirming that violators will be held liable for dealing with Israeli companies that represent the country that caused this massive destruction in the first place.

During the three-week attack on Gaza (December 27th 2008 to January 18th 2009), the Israeli army killed 1419 Palestinians while thousands were wounded and dozens of seriously wounded Palestinians died of their wounds later on. Most of the casualties were civilians, including children, infants, women and elderly, in addition to dozens of casualties among civil defense and First Responders. 13 Israelis, including eight soldiers, were killed during the attack; five of the eight soldiers were killed by friendly fire.

The Israeli military used phosphorous shells against the civilian population, and also bombarded homes, medical centers, UNRWA facilities, infrastructure, schools, and even mosques and educational facilities where hundreds of civilians were taking shelter.