The spokesman for the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine refugees (UNRWA) has called on the leaders of European countries to work collectively to bring an end to the suffering of the people of Gaza. Speaking at a press conference, Christopher Gunness pointed out that the rate of unemployment in the Strip reached 44.5% by the end of 2010, and has already increased by a further 0.5% since the beginning of 2011.
Mr. Gunness told the media, "We are monitoring the situation in the region, in the hope that the world is looking to develop new strategies to end the humanitarian crisis in the sector." He called for immediate intervention to stop the Israeli siege on Gaza before the crisis deepens. Responding to recent rumours about Israel preparing to launch another strike on the Strip, Gunness reiterated that Gaza is still struggling to recover from the onslaught of Operation Cast Lead in 2008/2009. "Any further action taken by Israel would exacerbate the devastation that already exists," he added.
Pointing out that the region has become a "real test" for the global community, Mr. Gunness said that the real measure of the success or failure of world leaders will be whether they assist or abandon the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.
MEMO Photographer: Mohammed Asad