Gaza still in ruins two years after war, says Oxfam

A girl sits on the ruins of her family's home that witnesses say was destroyed by Israeli airstrikes in the Beit Hanoun neighbourhood of Gaza CityOxfam is calling on world leaders to push for an end to Israel’s blockade of the Gaza Strip, which it says is in dire condition two years after the last war ended there in July 2014. “The blockade seriously impedes rebuilding and recovery of the Gaza Strip,” said Oxfam regional director Chris Eijkemans. “Until it’s removed, it will be impossible for Palestinians who live in Gaza to change their lives and live them in dignity, freedom and security,” he said.gazarubble

The organisation said many parts of the Gaza Strip are still in ruins, with less than 10% of the 11,000 homes destroyed in the war having been rebuilt. It said that 75.000 Palestinians remain homeless, entire neighbourhoods are without water, and destroyed hospitals and clinics haven’t been rebuilt.(ANSAmed).

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Tens of Thousands Mark Yasser Arafat Death Anniversary in Gaza

Tens of thousands of Gaza Palestinians marked the 13th anniversary of the Palestinian President Yasser Arafat’s death for the first time since the Islamic Hamas group seized the territory a decade ago. In the wake of a brewing reconciliation between Hamas and the Fatah party Arafat founded, Fatah supporters flocked to al-Saraya Square in Gaza City from all over the coastal enclave to commemorate the event, waving their yellow flag, raising posters of Arafat and donning his trademark kaffiyeh headgear.

 

Fatah and Hamas sign reconciliation deal in major breakthrough

Rival Palestinian factions Fatah and Hamas have signed a reconciliation deal – the biggest step forward for internal Palestinian relations in a decade. The signing of a preliminary agreement in Cairo was reached after two days of Egyptian-brokered negotiations. Fatah negotiator Azzam al-Ahmed and Hamas’s representative Saleh al-Arouri smiled and shook hands in a short ceremony presided over by Egypt’s chief of intelligence, Khalid Fawzi. The move should ensure a unity government will once again administer both the West Bank and Gaza after the rift caused by militant group Hamas’s takeover of the Gaza Strip in 2007.