Gaza blockade opens door for ‘new war’: UNRWA

16 Mar

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Middle East Monitor report, 15 March 2015
The UN agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA) has warned of the ramification of the ongoing Israeli blockade on the Gaza Strip, saying it could open the way for a “new war” in the region.

Director of UNRWA Operations in Gaza Robert Turner said at a press briefing that his agency was extremely concerned over the continued Israeli blockade on the Gaza Strip and also delay in the reconstruction of the Palestinian territory.

He described conditions in the Gaza Strip as “very bad.”

He said the a “new war” would be inescapable if the blockade was not lifted and the Gaza Strip reconstructed.

Turner went on to assert that UNRWA had sought to improve conditions in the coastal territory and reduce the number of Palestinian refugees seeking shelter at UNRWA-run schools across Gaza.

He also called on donor countries to honor financial pledges they made for Gaza during a conference held in Egyptian capital Cairo in October of 2014.

UNRWA, Turner said, had plans to build 7,000 houses in Gaza. However, he added, only funds for the construction of 200 houses were available.

Israel’s latest offensive on the Gaza Strip left thousands of Palestinian homes and public facilities either in total or partial ruin.

The offensive, which was launched for 51 days in July and August of 2014, also left 2,160 Gaza residents dead – mostly civilians – and more than 11,000 others injured.

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