World

AP Interview: UN official says rebuilding Gaza could take decades at current 'snail's pace'

  • FILE - In this Oct. 12, 2014 file photo, Palestinians walk between the rubble of a destroyed building in Shijaiyah neighborhood of Gaza City in the northern Gaza Strip. Gaza reconstruction is moving at a "snail's pace" and at this rate, it would likely take 30 years to rebuild the extensive damage from last summer's Israel-Hamas war, a senior U.N. official said. Roberto Valent, the incoming area chief of a U.N. agency involved in reconstruction told The Associated Press on Wednesday, June 24, 2015 in an interview that the system is too slow and Israel must open Gaza's borders to allow for the speedy rebuilding or repair of 141,000 homes he said suffered minor to severe damage or were destroyed. (AP Photo/Adel Hana, File)

    FILE - In this Oct. 12, 2014 file photo, Palestinians walk between the rubble of a destroyed building in Shijaiyah neighborhood of Gaza City in the northern Gaza Strip. Gaza reconstruction is moving at a "snail's pace" and at this rate, it would likely take 30 years to rebuild the extensive damage from last summer's Israel-Hamas war, a senior U.N. official said. Roberto Valent, the incoming area chief of a U.N. agency involved in reconstruction told The Associated Press on Wednesday, June 24, 2015 in an interview that the system is too slow and Israel must open Gaza's borders to allow for the speedy rebuilding or repair of 141,000 homes he said suffered minor to severe damage or were destroyed. (AP Photo/Adel Hana, File)  (The Associated Press)

  • FILE - In this Wednesday, Oct. 1, 2014 file photo, A Palestinian woman washes clothes as she sits in front of the rubble of her family house in Khuzaa, southern of Gaza Strip. Gaza reconstruction is moving at a "snail's pace" and at this rate, it would likely take 30 years to rebuild the extensive damage from last summer's Israel-Hamas war, a senior U.N. official said. Roberto Valent, the incoming area chief of a U.N. agency involved in reconstruction told The Associated Press on Wednesday, June 24, 2015 in an interview that the system is too slow and Israel must open Gaza's borders to allow for the speedy rebuilding or repair of 141,000 homes he said suffered minor to severe damage or were destroyed. (AP Photo/Khalil Hamra, File)

    FILE - In this Wednesday, Oct. 1, 2014 file photo, A Palestinian woman washes clothes as she sits in front of the rubble of her family house in Khuzaa, southern of Gaza Strip. Gaza reconstruction is moving at a "snail's pace" and at this rate, it would likely take 30 years to rebuild the extensive damage from last summer's Israel-Hamas war, a senior U.N. official said. Roberto Valent, the incoming area chief of a U.N. agency involved in reconstruction told The Associated Press on Wednesday, June 24, 2015 in an interview that the system is too slow and Israel must open Gaza's borders to allow for the speedy rebuilding or repair of 141,000 homes he said suffered minor to severe damage or were destroyed. (AP Photo/Khalil Hamra, File)  (The Associated Press)

  • In this Wednesday, June 24, 2015 photo, Roberto Valent, a top U.N. official overseeing reconstruction in war-ravaged Gaza, speaks during an interview with The Associated Press at his office in Gaza City, in the northern Gaza Strip. Gaza reconstruction is moving at a "snail's pace" and at this rate, it would likely take 30 years to rebuild the extensive damage from last summer's Israel-Hamas war, Valent said. Valent, the incoming area chief of a U.N. agency involved in reconstruction, blamed the delays on the slow flow of promised foreign aid and continued Israeli curbs on the entry of building material to Gaza. (AP Photo/Adel Hana)

    In this Wednesday, June 24, 2015 photo, Roberto Valent, a top U.N. official overseeing reconstruction in war-ravaged Gaza, speaks during an interview with The Associated Press at his office in Gaza City, in the northern Gaza Strip. Gaza reconstruction is moving at a "snail's pace" and at this rate, it would likely take 30 years to rebuild the extensive damage from last summer's Israel-Hamas war, Valent said. Valent, the incoming area chief of a U.N. agency involved in reconstruction, blamed the delays on the slow flow of promised foreign aid and continued Israeli curbs on the entry of building material to Gaza. (AP Photo/Adel Hana)  (The Associated Press)

A U.N. official says Gaza reconstruction is moving at a "snail's pace" and that at this rate it would take 30 years to rebuild the damage from last year's Israel-Hamas war.

Roberto Valent, the new area chief of a U.N. agency involved in reconstruction, blames the slow flow of foreign aid and Israeli curbs on the entry of construction material to Gaza.

Israel and Egypt have enforced a Gaza border blockade since a takeover of the territory by the Islamic militant Hamas in 2007. After the 2014 war, Israel allowed some cement and steel into Gaza under U.N. supervision to keep it away from Hamas militants.

Valent told The Associated Press on Wednesday that the system is too slow. He says "the real solution is the lifting of the restrictions."