Gaza Situation Deteriorating: UNRWA

The UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) has warned that years of Israeli blockade on the Gaza Strip have seriously deteriorated the humanitarian crisis in the coastal sliver.

UNRWA spokesman Christopher Gunness said that unemployment rate in Gaza has reached around 45.5 percent, a Press TV correspondent reported.

The deteriorating humanitarian situation in Gaza comes years after June 2007 when Israel and neighboring Egypt shut down Gaza’s borders and tightened a siege already in place.

Israel eased the siege last June and allowed consumer goods into Gaza after its May 2010 bloody attack on an aid convoy killed nine Turkish activists, sparking an international outrage.

But experts say there is no economic improvement in the impoverished territory as Israel continues to restrict the import of basic goods, severely restricts the movement of people and blocks all exports.

Human rights activists have criticized the international community for its silence on the flagging Gaza economy that has been shattered by the siege and the 22-day Israeli assault on the Gazans at the turn of 2009.

According to the United Nations figures, the war left over 1,400 people — mostly civilians — dead and damaged or destroyed more than 50,000 homes, 800 industrial units, 200 schools as well as 39 mosques and two churches.

“Over a million refugees in Gaza live in hard conditions in several camps across the strip and are dependent on assistance provided by the UNRWA,” the report said.

The UN agency needs to build 100 schools and 10,000 housing units in addition to a number of health centers but these have been severely hampered by Israeli siege of the strip.

Successive UN human rights chiefs have slammed Israel’s illegal settlement plans, its Gaza blockade and the building of an apartheid wall across Palestinian territories in the occupied West Bank among other things.

(Press TV)

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