Palestinian children stand behind a fence at Rafah border crossing

Palestinian children stand behind a fence as people wait for the return of their relatives from the annual Haj pilgrimage in Mecca, at Rafah border crossing in the southern Gaza Strip.

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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).

Turkish ship carrying humanitarian aid for Gaza

 A Turkish ship carrying more than 10,000 tons of humanitarian aid for the Gaza Strip has reached the Israeli port of Ashdod. The vessel Lady Leyla set sail late on Friday from the Turkish city of Mersin. Turkey’s state-run Anadolu news agency said it docked in Ashdod after a 35-hour journey. In 2010, relations between Turkey and Israel imploded when an Israeli naval raid killed nine Turks on board an aid ship trying to breach Israel’s blockade of the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip.
The Lady Leyla has now been unloaded and the aid donations will be transported overland through Israel to Gaza. The ship is carrying food, toys, clothes and shoes, according to Turkey’s disaster and emergency management authority. The delivery comes before the start of Eid al-Fitr, the holiday marking the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. A six-year political standoff between Turkey and Israel ended last week when the two countries agreed to normalise ties.