While many families in Gaza live in poverty Hamas is planning an Olympic village located on the ruins of the Israeli settlement of Netzarim, Ynet News reports. The place abandoned when Israel retreated from the Strip in 2005.
Hamas’ ambitious project planned by Abdel Salam, son of Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh who is an avid sports fan, and was the chairman of the local Soccer association.
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The area on 720 acres, now used for Hamas military training, will include a soccer stadium with 25,000 seats, an indoor stadium for competitions and training and an Olympic size swimming pool.
If all goes as planned, the construction of the soccer stadium to be built first and completed within five years.
According to Ynet News, although not a cent raised so far, Hamas believes they will be able to raise funds needed because the plan meant to be for the benefit of the local population. Mostly for the men.
The Islamic University’s Engineering faculty is responsible for the planning and construction that will be overseen by Gaza’s High Commission for Sports.
Haniyeh’s project planned while 25% of Gaza’s buildings ruined in 2014 war with Israel and yet not rebuilt. Vast parts of the population still struggling with the devastation caused by the destruction. Frustrated Gazans said: “Instead of fantasizing about Olympic games, Hamas should first see to it that we have jobs, food, electricity and proper sewage so we can live normal lives.”
Instead, Hamas continues its belligerent activity against Israel including incendiary balloons, violent riots at the border and occasional launching rockets aimed at Israel’s communities.