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).

Israel’s blockade keeps Gaza in the dark

The Gaza Strip has been under siege for a decade, with a strict Israeli-Egyptian blockade controlling the entry and exit of people and goods. Electricity is rationed throughout the territory, as Gaza has access to less than half of its power needs through purchases and local generation, officials say. Residents may receive eight hours or fewer of electricity a day, with blackouts common. Gaza’s power plant was bombed in 2006 and the electricity network suffered further damage during the 2014 war, straining the system to its limits. The lack of electricity also has consequences for the pumping and treatment of sewage water. In addition to Israeli attacks and restrictions, infighting between Hamas in Gaza and the Palestinian Authority in Ramallah have contributed to a lack of progress in solving the territory’s power crisis. “There are plans to develop a new power plant or even solar fields, but … we need international approval and we lack agreements between Fatah and Hamas,” said Hazem Ahmed, a representative of Gaza’s local power company.