Egypt begins reconstruction of town in northern Gaza
Naji Sarhan, Gaza's deputy minister for housing and public works, told The New Arab that since Saturday, the town of Beit Lahia has witnessed the laying of the foundation and the pouring of reinforced concrete as part of the construction of residential community in the town - a project known as Dar Misr 3.
The project is one of three Egyptian plans to build residential communities; with the first, named Dar Misr 1, in the Zahra area and the second, known as Dar Misr 2, in Jabalia.
In May, an Israeli bombing campaign targeted the besieged and impoverished strip, killing more than 250 Palestinians and injuring thousands. Tens of thousands of homes and much of Gaza's basic infrastructure were destroyed.
Gaza's Hamas government says Israeli airstrikes destroyed about 2,200 homes in the enclave during the 11-day conflict and damaged 37,000 others.
Following a ceasefire, mediated by Egypt, access to reconstruction funds and materials has been a key Hamas demand.
Egypt pledged $500 million to rebuild residential buildings and construct other community projects, while Qatar offered an aid package of $500 million for the reconstruction process.
The first phase of reconstruction began in September. It included the removal of rubble, which was completed in 65 days, with 85,000 cubic meters of rubble removed.
The most prominent of the Egyptian reconstruction projects is the development of the waterfront at the corniche, northern Gaza.