'Psychological damage is even greater': Reconstruction in Jenin will cost more than $15.5 million

'Psychological damage is even greater': Reconstruction in Jenin will cost more than $15.5 million
Palestinians in Jenin struggle through Israel's attack aftermath as reconstruction could take long.
3 min read
West Bank
07 July, 2023
Israeli attack on Jenin destroyed most of the camp's infrastructure. [Getty]

The reconstruction of the Jenin camp will cost more than $15.5 million, according to the Palestinian ministerial committee formed by the Palestinian government to assess the damages caused by the latest Israeli attack on the refugee camp.

The committee published its report on Thursday after its technical teams visited Jenin and inspected the Israeli damage done to the infrastructure and private property, the Palestinian official agency Wafa reported.

The Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh said on Thursday that the PA will "work with partners" to organise reconstruction efforts for the camp. Already a $15 million package was pledged by the UAE and a $30 million package by Algeria for reconstruction purposes.

Meanwhile, dozens of Palestinian families who were forced to leave their homes in the Jenin camp last Monday night, fleeing Israeli airstrikes, still haven't returned.

"Many families can't go back to their houses, as they have been severely damaged," Najat Btmeh, a resident of Jenin and director of the women and children's centre in the camp, told The New Arab.

"Some houses have been partially burned, other houses have their walls broken as soldiers broke through walls to move around the camp during the attack," she said.

Butmeh, whose family also fled the camp, returned on Tuesday despite the damage caused to her house. "My husband couldn’t stand the idea of going through another exodus like the one of 1948, so we decided to return and restore our house while staying in it," she said. 

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"The damage in the camp is far greater than the sums announced by the government, not only in the infrastructure but also in private property," she pointed out.

"The streets are completely destroyed, to the point that my children had to carry my handicapped husband through them on the night we left the camp," added Butmeh. "The water pipes were basically blown out by the occupation's bulldozers, and most of the camp is still cut off from running water and electricity."

On Tuesday, the PA government's committee met with associations in Jenin to assess reconstruction needs. "We, at the women and children's centre, participated in the meeting and voiced our needs," said Butmeh. "The part that doesn’t get registered are the psychological needs, especially for children."

"At the centre, we rescheduled all our activities for children to fill more time during the day, because we need to treat the immediate aftermath trauma," she added. "Many of our workers are mothers themselves, and as grown-ups, they need to take care of themselves."

Israeli forces' raid on Jenin lasted for two days, during which Israeli forces killed 12 Palestinians and wounded 100. The Israeli army claimed that one of its soldiers was killed in confrontations with Palestinian fighters during the raid.