Association of International Development Agencies Policy Paper on Reconstruction of Gaza

In this policy paper, the Association of International Development Agencies (AIDA) present five principles which they believe should guide the reconstruction of Gaza following the devastation it suffered in the war known as ‘Operation Protective Edge’ in 2014. The goal of such a principled reconstruction would go beyond the mere restoration of houses, schools, hospitals and infrastructure to their pre-war state. It would enable a radical and sustainable change in Gaza’s status, presently definable as an isolated and blockaded non-State entity with virtually no contact to the outside world, except to the strictly limited extent currently allowed by the occupying State – Israel.

The fifth principle is Accountability. The authors stress that ‘ accountability for violations is not limited to criminal investigations and prosecutions, but also includes reparations, compensation and restitution.’ It is this context that the authors address the thorny problem created by Israel’s blockade of all entry points into Gaza: International donors cannot stipulate which suppliers or materials reach the Gazan population. Only suppliers approved by Israel can deliver materials to Gaza. Thus the authors speak of an ‘economic incentive [for Israel] in the cycle of destruction and reconstruction.’ This situation may offend against the principle that violators of international law should not profit from their own violations as may be the case if Israeli companies actively building settlements, the Wall, or quarrying within the occupied West Bank, are also allowed to become suppliers of materials destined to rebuild the ruins of Gaza.