February 20, 2014 at 3:30 pm
The Director of Operation for the UN Relief and Works Agency [UNRWA] in the Gaza Strip, John Ging, has confirmed that "no tangible change" has occurred to the lives of Gaza's people since Israel announced it would ease its economic blockade of the Strip last June.
Israel's announcement that it would lift some of the restrictions imposed on Gaza to allow the entry of more food and consumer goods followed the international pressure it came under after nine Turkish peace activists were killed by Israeli soldiers aboard a Turkish vessel attempting to breach the siege.
John Ging accused Israel of ignoring the demands of the international community to lift the blockade and stated that "there is no tangible change for the people on the ground here with regard to their condition, dependence on aid, the absence of any recovery or reconstruction. And there is no economy."
Mr Ging asserted that "The ease as described was nothing more than a political ease of pressure on Israel and Egypt."
He also stated that Israel had imposed its stifling siege on the Gaza Strip for more than four years and prevents the entry of the majority of basic materials, primarily construction materials, which the sector desperately needs for the reconstruction of buildings destroyed by Israel during the war.