The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) has denounced the continuation of the blockade imposed on the Gaza Strip. The Israeli occupation authorities will not allow materials essential for the reconstruction of Gaza to be imported into the territory. As a result, the people of Gaza have not been able to recover from the devastation caused by Israel's brutal assault of a year ago.
According to UNRWA, "Gaza has returned to the Stone Age, in fact even further than that, as we building houses of mud after the Israeli military operation on the sector."
Spokesman Chris Gunness said that the Israeli blockade means the Palestinians in Gaza have no access to any building materials, even to repair the damage to about 6000 houses.
"We are the United Nations and we always hope that diplomacy prevails, and I think it will prevail over the war zones. But if we look at what is happening in Gaza and what are the impacts of the continued blockade on the population, this may lead us to doubt the feasibility of such diplomacy." He added that UNRWA is demanding that the embargo be lifted as it "makes no sense" to keep it in place.
A report issued by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) claims that 80 per cent of Gaza's population is officially below the poverty line, the unemployment level is 43 per cent and 75 per cent lacks food security.