Israel's destruction in Gaza cost at least $1.4 billion
Israel's destruction in the Gaza Strip has cost the Palestinian economy at least $1.4 billion, Palestinian officials said.
The Palestinian Statistics Bureau said some 26,000 Gazans unable to live in their homes were being housed in emergency temporary shelters.
The bureau estimated that Israeli air, sea and ground attacks had damaged some 20,000 residential buildings in an attack that began on Dec. 27, and that some 4,000 were totally destroyed.
Surveyors reporting to the bureau said public buildings were also destroyed including 18 schools, mosques and university buildings, roads, bridges, power lines and water and sewage pipes.
The bureau put the cost of reconstruction at close to $1 billion, with daily losses of revenues amounting to an additional $420,000. With fighting continuing, it said the final cost could be much higher.
"The Gaza Strip has become a humanitarian, social and economic disaster area because of Israeli aggression," bureau director Loay Shabane said in a statement.
Israel has killed at least 1,105, with some 5,100 wounded in the almost three-week-old offensive, according to the Health Ministry in Gaza. A Palestinian rights group in West Bank said about 700 of the dead were civilians.
Thirteen Israelis have been killed, including 10 soldiers and three civilians hit by rocket fire in response of Israel heavy bombardments.
Reuters Last Mod: 16 Ocak 2009, 12:21