RAMALLAH, July 13 (Xinhua) -- For Sohaila Jarbou, an elderly woman displaced by the recent Israeli raid in the northern West Bank city of Jenin, efforts led by the Palestinian Authority to rebuild the Palestinian city's ruined neighborhoods has given her new hope of a return to normal life.
On July 3, the Israeli army launched a large-scale military offensive against Palestinian militants in the Jenin refugee camp. The operation, seen by many as the most violent in the West Bank in 20 years, claimed at least the lives of 13 Palestinians and wounded more than 150 others.
"We were afraid that it would take years to get our houses rebuilt ... but it seems that we will have them restored soon as the Palestinian Authority has pledged to help," Jarbou said.
"The circumstances are sad, but the hard efforts in helping us rebuild our houses give us more hope. If donors fulfill their promises, we will reconstruct our camp in less than three months," said Om al-Majd, Jarbou's neighbor who also lost her house in an Israeli attack.
"Neither Gazans nor we would like to spend all our lives under bloody conflicts. We just need to live in peace," said the 52-year-old mother of four.
Ahmed al-Zar'ini, an elderly man from Jenin, also looked forward to seeing the promises to have his two-storey house rebuilt immediately fulfilled.
"My family and I have been experiencing very tough conditions as displaced people. It is very hard to live in our relatives' houses just as strangers who cannot even prepare their food freely," the 75-year-old father of six told Xinhua.
About five buildings were destroyed and 25 partially were damaged and became uninhabitable in the two-day Israeli raid last week, according to assessment by the Palestinian Ministry of Public Works in Ramallah.
The Palestinian government has formed a committee for the reconstruction of the Jenin camp, consisting of relevant Palestinian ministries, departments of the Jenin Governorate and the Chamber of Commerce.
"The committee is working around the clock to restore life to the camp, as the public works mechanisms reopened the roads, removed the rubble, and secured housing for the affected people," Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammed Ishtaye said during a weekly cabinet meeting on Monday.
"The committee has documented great damage in roads, water networks, electricity, communications, private and public buildings, and the technical staff of the committee started to work as soon as the (Israeli) operation ended," he added.
Countries like Algeria, the United Arab Emirates and Türkiye and some non-governmental organizations have already donated to the Palestinian Authority to advance the reconstruction in Jenin, according to Ishtaye.
On Wednesday, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas visited Jenin and its refugee camp, pledging to immediately rebuild what had been destroyed by the Israeli army during its two-day offensive in the city.
"We challenge everyone who wants to defeat us or attack us, and we will not accept aggression from anyone, and we will remain steadfast and patient in our country, and we will not leave," the 87-year-old president told the crowds gathered in the camp. ■