Gaza Reconstruction: More than a Humanitarian Project

Jun 15 2021



Recorded Tuesday, June 15th


Tania Hary (Gisha)

Issam Younis (Al-Mezan Center for Human Rights)

Moderated by

Lara Friedman (FMEP)

Following Israel’s 11-day bombardment of the Gaza Strip this past month, the besieged coastal enclave is once again staring down a long road to reconstruction. It does so even as the territory remains under Israeli blockade, the people living there are facing urgent humanitarian needs, and there continues to be no existing or emerging political/diplomatic path to change the underlying status quo – a status quo that contains in it the seeds for the next round of violence and destruction. 

Join FMEP and our panel of experts to discuss what Gaza truly needs, and how the political agendas of international donors and Israeli restrictions have, in the past, sabotaged efforts not only to restore, but also to meaningfully improve, life in the Gaza Strip.

Panelist Biographies

Tania Hary is the executive director of Gisha – Legal Center for Freedom of Movement, an Israeli human rights organization which promotes the right to movement in the Palestinian territory, especially Gaza. Leading Israel’s only organization focused on Gaza, Tania is relied upon as a source of information and analysis on the situation in the Strip both at home and abroad. She appeared before the Security Council in 2015 and 2019. Prior to joining Gisha in 2007, Tania worked on advocacy initiatives for not-for-profit organizations promoting human rights and development. She received her B.A. in modern literature at the University of California, Santa Cruz and an M.A. in international affairs from the New School in New York. Tania was born in Haifa, raised in Los Angeles and now resides in Tel Aviv-Jaffa.

Issam Younis is the Director of Al-Mezan Center for Human Rights in Gaza. He is the Commissioner General of The Palestinian Independent Commission for Hunan Rights (ICHR). He is the president of the Arab Network of National Human Rights Institutions (ANNHRI). He is also a member of the Palestinian Higher Education Council, and a Policy Advisor for Al-Shabaka: The Palestinian Policy Network.

Lara Friedman is the President of the Foundation for Middle East Peace (FMEP). With more than 25 years working in the Middle East foreign policy arena, Lara is a leading authority on U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East, with particular expertise on the Israeli-Arab conflict, Israeli settlements, Jerusalem, and the role of the U.S. Congress. She is published widely in the U.S. and international press and is regularly consulted by members of Congress and their staffs, by Washington-based diplomats, by policy-makers in capitals around the world, and by journalists in the U.S. and abroad. In addition to her work at FMEP, Lara is a Contributing Writer at Jewish Currents and a non-resident fellow at the U.S./Middle East Project (USMEP). Prior to joining FMEP, Lara was the Director of Policy and Government Relations at Americans for Peace Now, and before that she was a U.S. Foreign Service Officer, serving in Jerusalem, Washington, Tunis and Beirut. She holds a B.A. from the University of Arizona and a Master’s degree from Georgetown’s School of Foreign Service; in addition to English, Lara speaks French, Arabic, Spanish, (weak) Italian, and muddles through in Hebrew.


Follow our experts – and their organizations – on Twitter:

On the current conditions in Gaza:

The Gaza Reconstruction Mechanism:

Political Actors: