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UN: 3,000 homeless after Israeli offensive against Gaza

February 17, 2014 at 1:49 am

The UN has said that the recent Israeli military offensive against the Gaza Strip left more than 3,000 Palestinians homeless after their houses were completely destroyed by Israel’s bombardment.

The Humanitarian Coordinator of the United Nations in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, James Rowley, told UN radio, “For the second time [in 4 years], civilians in Gaza have borne the brunt of the Israeli attacks.” He also said that the situation in Gaza is “unsustainable”.

Stressing that the situation must be changed, Rowley said, “We call for the effective political parties in the region to take the appropriate steps needed to guarantee peace and stability.” He invited such parties to take tangible measures “that bring hope again to the people in Gaza”.

Rowley affirmed that at least 3,000 citizens were displaced as a result of the latest Israeli war. “They are either homeless or live in rented accommodation,” he said.

According to the UN official, more than 1.3m Palestinians in Gaza   80 per cent of the population – live on aid, including 800,000 who are dependent on what they get from UNRWA, the UN Agency responsible for Palestinian refugees. “The latest war aggravated their already devastated life,” Rowley added.

Homelessness is not the only problem, he explained, as there is an increasing number of Palestinians suffering psychological problems as a result of the war: “Such problems are most common among children.”

Mr. Rowley said that UNRWA responded urgently to the needs of around 12,000 people who sought refuge in government and UNRWA schools during the Israeli attack.