35,000 Palestinians still Displaced from 2014 War

Aside from the siege, Israel's wars on Gaza caused widespread destruction, left thousands homeless. (Photo: File)

The Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) released a statement on Friday that highlighted the continuous devastation faced by residents of the besieged Gaza Strip three years after Israel’s 2014 offensive, as tens of thousands of Palestinians in Gaza remained displaced in the coastal enclave.

“Of 11,000 homes totally destroyed during the war, a little over one third have been rebuilt,” NRC noted, adding that many of these families have continued to reside in tents for the past three years.

NRC said that 8,135 of those homes have not yet been reconstructed, and added that 160,000 additional homes were also damaged during the war.

Thaer al-Sheesh, a father of four in Gaza, told NRC that he has spent three years in a tent as he has continued to wait for his home to be rebuilt since the devastating war. “We are alive now because death hasn’t bothered to take us yet. It will be way better for us to die, as we won’t face problems anymore,” he said.

According to NRC, 6,300 Palestinian families – 35,000 individuals – in Gaza have remained displaced from the war.

According to NRC, as of halfway into 2017, only 30 percent of promised funding for reconstruction in Gaza had been covered, leaving a deficit of $380 million.

“Even if the necessary funding is made available immediately, we are still looking at another year of construction before the displaced families can return to their homes,” NRC’s Country Director in Jerusalem Hanibal Abiy Worku said in the statement.

According to NRC, 46 percent of the amount of cement needed for housing reconstruction in Gaza since 2014 is still needed.

The UN has warned that the Gaza Strip would become uninhabitable for residents by 2020, pointing to the devastation of war and the crippling effects of Israel’s blockade, while 80 percent of Gaza’s population has become dependent on humanitarian assistance.

(Maan, PC, Social Media)

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