Two years on from the devastating Israeli offensive, Palestinians in the Gaza Strip remain at risk from unexploded ordnance – or Explosive Remnants of War (ERW).
That is the conclusion of UN OCHA in an update published this week, with the agency stating that since the end of hostilities in August 2014, 17 people have been killed and 100 more have been injured by ERW, including 46 children.
According to UN OCHA, ERW “resulting from the 2014 and previous hostilities continue to pose a serious threat to the life and physical integrity of the population [in the Gaza Strip].”
Furthermore, “the extent of contamination by ERW in Gaza is unknown”, as “suspected ERW remain hidden throughout Gaza, either among the rubble of destroyed structures or buried below the surface.”
Since the August 2014 ceasefire, the UN Mine Action Service (UNMAS) has “cleared more than 40 cases of suspected large aerial bombs posing a risk to communities and impeding reconstruction and development efforts.”
However, “of the 131 locations identified since 2014 where this type of aerial bomb is suspected, 87 sites remain to be cleared.”