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International group says Gaza housing reconstruction to take 20 years

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GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip — An international organization involved in assessing post-conflict reconstruction says it will take 20 years for Gaza's battered and neglected housing stock to be rebuilt following the war between Hamas and Israel.

Shelter Cluster, co-chaired by the U.N. refugee agency and the Red Cross, says 17,000 Gaza housing units were destroyed or severely damaged during the war and 5,000 units still need work after damage sustained in previous military campaigns. In addition, it says, Gaza has a housing deficit of 75,000 units.

In a report circulated late Friday, Shelter Cluster says its 20-year assessment is based on the capacity of the main Israel-Gaza cargo crossing to handle 100 trucks of construction materials daily.

Over 2,100 Palestinians, most civilians, died in the war. Israel lost 71 people, all but six soldiers.

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