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Official: Qatar to open office to oversee Gaza reconstruction

Aug. 24, 2012 7:07 P.M. (Updated: Aug. 27, 2012 3:33 P.M.)
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Qatar will open an office in Gaza to oversee its reconstruction projects in the enclave, an official in Gaza said Friday.

Minister of Public Works and Housing Yousif al-Mansi said a Qatari delegation had agreed to start the first phase of a $224 million project during a visit to Gaza in June.

"We're waiting for the delegation to come back in the next week or two to open a Qatari office in Gaza to start signing contracts and start the reconstruction projects," al-Mansi told Ma'an.

Initially, reconstruction efforts will focus on infrastructure and buildings for the ministries of health and agriculture, the minister said.

"There are Qatari-Egyptian-Palestinian communications to allow material through the Rafah crossing."

The Hamas minister stressed that the Ramallah-based Palestinian Authority was not involved in the project.

Many buildings that were damaged in Israel's 2008-2009 assault on the Gaza Strip remain in rubble due to restrictions on construction materials entering the territory.
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