UN official urges more int’l efforts to help blockaded Gaza


A United Nations official on Thursday slammed what he described as the international community’s silence toward the deteriorating humanitarian situation in the blockaded Gaza Strip.

“The world has closed its eyes and ears about the dire humanitarian situation in Gaza,” Pierre Krahenbuhl, commissioner general for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA), told a news briefing in Gaza.

“It’s not acceptable at all to keep the suffering of hundreds of thousands of people ongoing due to wars that the Gaza Strip witnessed and the hard daily living situation facing people there,” said Krahenbuhl.

“The world should be even more concerned about the humanitarian cost of 50 years of occupation and 10 years of an endless blockade imposed on Gaza,” said Krahenbuhl.

“If the world continues to simply watch what happens in Gaza,” Krahenbuhl warned, “the situation will never improve in the coming years, which means increased suffering of children, senior citizens and women.”

He also noted that over 65 percent of students studying at UNRWA schools can’t find employment due to the harsh living conditions and increasing poverty and unemployment rates.

“Some 90 percent of UNRWA’s schoolchildren have never been out of Gaza ever since they were born,” said Krahenbuhl.

Krahenbuhl said Gaza’s internationally-backed construction plan has completely stopped and that in May 2016, he provided Israel with a list of 400 people’s names whose homes needed reconstruction.

“We have the money to rebuild these homes, but until now the Israeli side has not given any positive or negative response to our request,” said Krahenbuhl.

The Gaza Strip’s population of two million has been grappling with a tough Israeli blockade since the summer of 2007.

In addition to the negative impact of the blockade on the economy and daily life, Israel waged three large-scale military offensives against the Gaza Strip, killing hundreds of civilians and destroying thousands of homes and facilities.

(Source / 01.12.2016)


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