The Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) has called for international support for sports and youth projects in the Gaza Strip. Suggested projects include the provision of additional green spaces, the repair of sports stadiums damaged in the recent Israel offensive against civilians in Gaza and building new arenas.
In its humanitarian report on the sector for February 2013, the OIC called specifically for all sports venues to have facilities adapted for use by people with disabilities.
The report noted that Israel’s November offensive targeted sports and youth infrastructure. The headquarters of the Palestinian Olympic Committee and dozens of youth organisations were bombed, it said. As a result, thousands of young Palestinians in Gaza have been deprived of the opportunity to play sports and take part in other recreational activities.
International support for rebuilding Gaza was acknowledged by the OIC, notably a Saudi-funded housing project as well as aid from humanitarian and charitable organisations. The latter have funded health and education provision in the Gaza Strip.
The electricity crisis was also highlighted as a priority by organisation. A number of Palestinians have been killed in fires caused by families using candles during the frequent and lengthy power cuts.