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UN official: Israeli blockade delaying Gaza reconstruction

October 18, 2016 at 9:06 am

A senior United Nations (UN) official yesterday warned of the deteriorating conditions in the Gaza Strip, and said the Israeli blockade was delaying reconstruction efforts.

The director of operations for United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) in the Gaza Strip, Bo Schack, spoke at a news conference at UNRWA HQ.

Schack said that the Israeli blockade imposed on Gaza and restrictions on shipment of construction materials “are negatively impacting the lives of the Palestinians there.” He also expressed concern about the situation for staff, saying it is “increasingly not possible to move”.

The UN official accused Israel of delaying reconstruction in the blockaded territory. “Israel hasn’t yet approved a list of names of Gaza citizens submitted in May 2015 whose houses have been damaged during Israeli military offensives and need construction.”

Meanwhile, in Ramallah, Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah said yesterday that his government has urged donor countries to give more in support of Gaza reconstruction.

Marking two years since the Cairo Conference for the Reconstruction of Gaza, a report by the National Committee for the Reconstruction of the Gaza Strip said that as of this month, over a third of totally destroyed homes were still in need of financial assistance.

Some 90 per cent of severely damaged housing units not suitable to live in have been rehabilitated, while finances have been found “to rehabilitate 93,258, or 60.9 per cent, of the partially damaged housing units.”