Gazans demonstrate against delay of UN rebuilding project

08:50, July 18, 2011      

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Dozens of Palestinians gathered in front of a United Nations relief organization in Gaza City in a protest demanding rebuilding of houses.

Most of the protestors came from the Beach refugee camp in western Gaza City, which is overseen by the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA).

"The UNRWA demolished my ramshackle house in 2007 and has not yet rebuilt it," said a 60-year-old protestor who refused to reveal his name.

The UNRWA says Israeli sanctions on Gaza, under them some main construction materials are banned, were the reasons that delayed the reconstruction, but the protestors say the UNRWA has recently got approvals for building schools and other projects in southern Gaza Strip.

Israel imposed the closure on Gaza when Islamic Hamas movement took over the coastal enclave by force in June 2007.

Adnan Abu Hassna, spokesman for the UNRWA, said the agency pays rent to the families whose houses were demolished. Blaming the Israeli sanctions, Abu Hassna added that the UNRWA is still talking with the Israelis to grant approval for importing materials for the project.

Last week, the UNRWA announced that it has suspended some emergency relief programs due to financial deficit.

The UNRWA provides health, education, relief and job services to nearly 4.7 million Palestinian refugees in the Gaza Strip, the West Bank and in refugee camps in neighboring Arab countries.

Source: Xinhua
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