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Gaza govt constructs, refurbishes 50 security buildings

Jan. 23, 2012 2:58 P.M. (Updated: Jan. 24, 2012 2:04 P.M.)
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- The Hamas-run government in the Gaza Strip has managed to construct 50 buildings used as headquarters for different security services, interior minister Fathi Hammad said Monday.

Hammad says 25 of the buildings are new, while the other 25 have been reconstructed after they sustained either partial damage or major destruction during Israel’s 2008-2009 military offensive.

Construction and reconstruction will continue until all the security services have modern buildings and are equipped with modern technologies, Hammad said at the inauguration of a Beit Hanoun fire station.

Gaza Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh, meanwhile, says he will form a committee of public and private sector organizations to address problems in the blockaded coastal enclave, to start meeting on Thursday.

After meeting with private sector representatives at the Council of Ministers, the premier encouraged the public sector to coordinate work with private companies to kickstart Gaza's economy.

Haniyeh also said the Islamic Development Bank has pledged $60 million to boost Gaza's economy, and Turkey and Qatar have also pledged funds to reconstruct Gaza, including building hospitals and schools.

Gaza has one of the highest unemployment rates in the world, at 32.9 percent. Israel restricts import of construction material and equipment for private sector building under its land and sea blockade on Gaza, tightened in 2007 after Hamas seized power.
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