Back to Gaza: A New Approach to Reconstruction

Content from the Brookings Doha Center is now archived. In September 2021, after 14 years of impactful partnership, Brookings and the Brookings Doha Center announced that they were ending their affiliation. The Brookings Doha Center is now the Middle East Council on Global Affairs, a separate public policy institution based in Qatar.

The initial drive to rebuild the Gaza Strip following last summer’s destructive war between Israel and Hamas has gradually stalled. Only a tiny percentage of funds pledged at an October donor’s conference have reached Gaza, and thousands remain homeless. What factors have caused these failures in the reconstruction of Gaza? How can the Palestinian leadership and the international community work to avoid past mistakes?

In this Policy Briefing, Sultan Barakat and Omar Shaban draw on their extensive post-war reconstruction expertise to provide policy advice on approaching the daunting task of rebuilding the devastated Gaza Strip. The authors outline a reconstruction strategy that seeks to engage and empower local stakeholders in Gaza, while improving transparency to ensure accountability to the Palestinian people.

Ultimately, the authors propose a collaborative Gaza Reconstruction Council to oversee the reconstruction process, with representatives from Palestinian civil society groups and political parties, international agencies, and key regional countries. This council would oversee a specialized trust fund that would receive and administer donor monies, breaking the cycle of foreign funds failing to effectively contribute to the reconstruction of Gaza.