As the Israeli siege keeps Gaza buried in ruins, an Iranian foundation works alongside a local Palestinian charity group to help families rebuild their homes.
Thee three-week-long Israeli military offensive in Gaza has left the Gaza Strip in a state of destruction. What remains of the properties of tens of thousands of Palestinians are just heaps of rubble.
Although several donor countries have pledged about USD 5 billion in aid to rebuild the region, reconstruction has been put on hold because Israel has banned building material — such as steel and cement — from entering Gaza.
However, in spite of Israeli restrictions, Iran has stepped in to offer direct assistance to the Palestinians who were left homeless by Operation Cast Lead.
Bypassing government bureaucracy, the Martyrs’ Foundation of the Islamic Republic of Iran has worked in partnership with the local Ansar Charity Institute to provide the necessary assistance.
"We work on projects to help the families of Palestinian detainees in Israel and the families of those killed by Israel. This particular project provides 8,000 dollars to the families of those who were killed in the Gaza war and those who lost their homes," Sami Abu Ayada of the Ansar Institute told Press TV.
So far, up to 102 families across the Gaza Strip have benefited from the project. Although the aid falls short of the amount needed by each family to rebuild their home, it is, nonetheless, more than many of them have received from other donors.
"I will use this money to build a small shack out of bricks and corrugated iron. It will shelter my family in the rainy season. It is better than the tent we live in now. Other people who can afford to rent homes will save this money to rebuild their homes once the border is opened," a Gazan woman who received aid said when interviewed.
While the money is essential, many feel that the aid provided by the Martyrs’ Foundation has more significant implications than that of mere financial assistance.
"Iran stands by the Palestinians more than any other Arab or Islamic nation. Countries like Egypt and Saudi Arabia stood learn lessons from Iran and stop criticizing it," another Gaza resident told Press TV.