(MENAFN - Kuwait News Agency (KUNA)) The State of Qatar started projects costing USD 254 million to rehabilitate the infrastructure of Gaza Strip which was hit hard by the 22-day Israeli war on Gaza in the winter of 2008-09, a Qatari official said here on Tuesday.
Under instructions of Qatari Amir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, a joint commission was formed by the Qatari Foreign Ministry and the Hamas-led Palestinian government in Gaza to implement the projects, head of visiting Qatari delegation Ambassador Mohammad Al-Emadi said.
He made the remarks in a joint press conference with Palestinian Prime Minister in Gaza Ismail Haniyyeh.
"The funds will be used to rehabilitate roads, namely Salah-Eddin International Road (42 km), Al-Sahel Road on the Mediterranean coastline in west Gaza, the Eastern Road between Karm Abu Salem in the south to north Gaza.
"They will be also channeled to the construction of Sheikh Hamad City, an ambitious housing project which costs up to USD 500 million" he revealed.
"The commission started contracting efficient Palestinian cadres and companies to develop the projects," Ambassador Al-Emadi affirmed. The projects will employ up to 10,000 workers and take two - three years to complete, he expects.
"Qatar's support to the Palestinian people stems from a humanitarian and religious responsibility for siding with oppressed people," he noted.
Meanwhile, Haniyyeh welcomed the visit of the delegation to Gaza as a manifestation of the supportive stance of the Qatari people and leaders towards the Palestinian people particularly those in the besieged strip.
"The remarks of Ambassador Mohammad Al-Emadi provide relief for us and herald great advancement in the post-war rehabilitation efforts in Gaza Strip, " he said, noting that the projects will help curbing the unemployment problem.
The Prime Minister promised that his government would do its utmost to facilitate the construction of the projects which will developed under Qatari supervision.
He called on all Arab and Muslim nations, particularly Egypt, to contribute to the rehabilitation of Gaza.