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Qatar committee to begin Gaza reconstruction projects

Dec. 11, 2012 2:03 P.M. (Updated: Dec. 13, 2012 9:56 A.M.)
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- A Qatari committee will begin work on reconstruction projects in the Gaza Strip on Wednesday, a committee official said.

Muhammad al-Amadi, head of Qatar's committee for reconstructing Gaza, said 24 projects would be launched on Wednesday.

Some 52 companies applied for the Gaza reconstruction bids and the Qatari committee is in the process of finalizing the contracts, al-Amadi told Ma'an.

A number of Hamas ministers will take part in the launch ceremony for the reconstruction projects, including Yousef al-Ghaziz, minister for public works and housing, minister of agriculture Ali al-Tarshawi and head of local government Muhammad al-Farra.

Qatar's Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani was the first head of state to enter Gaza in late October, embarking on what was a state visit in all but name.

Qatar called the visit a humanitarian gesture to inaugurate reconstruction projects financed by the emirate and earmarked some $400 million to fund the projects.

The gulf country will build a $25 million city for released prisoners and increased its funding for another new city in the Gaza Strip by $15 million, Hamas prime minister Ismail Haniyeh said at the time.

Qatar had also agreed to grant $8 million to build a youth rehabilitation center and to donate an extra $13 million to a hospital so patients could be treated in Gaza rather than traveling abroad.
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