Published On: Tue, Jul 22nd, 2014

Gaza Estimated War Damage at $3 Billion, Israel’s Costs Similar

On the Israeli side, there have been 662 war damage suits filed with the tax authority.

Gaza destruction by gloucester2gaza

The Gaza strip has sustained roughly $3 billion in damages since the start of clashes, Hamas Minister of National Economy Mohammad Mustafa said in a statement cited by Ma’an, the Palestinian news agency.

The Gaza Strip Gaza annual GDP is about $1.8 billion.

Mustafa said that the role of his ministry has doubled in light of the continuous Israeli offensive and targeting of houses, farms, and economic, social and health facilities.

It has been established by the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration, as well as other sources, that Hamas weapons have been stored inside many of these civilian facilities, a violation of the Geneva Convention protocols.

Mustafa added that the ministry was cooperating with the private sector to provide Palestinians in Gaza with urgent needs, mainly medical supplies, as well as economic relief.

On the Israeli side, there have been 662 war damage suits filed with the tax authority, of which 417 were based on damage to buildings and 228 on damage to vehicles.

But the most serious economic outcome of the war, experts are saying, will undoubtedly come from the Israeli government’s inevitable decision to cancel the military budget cuts of about $900 million, slated for 2015.

In addition, Israel will be facing the cost of paying the salaries of reservists, while the local economy is enduring a slowdown in retail consumption—most acutely in the south, but across the country as well.

Based on previous experience, the figure of $3 billion in overall costs to Israel appears realistic. Of course, Israel’s annual GDP, estimated at $250 billion, will deal more easily with these costs than would Gaza.

Many in Israel, including some key politicians, are envisioning a Martial Plan for Gaza, to help it come out of the rubble and rebuild its infrastructures and services. But Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu insists that the precondition for such an investment must include the demilitarization of Gaza.

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