UN official calls on Israel to allow construction raw-materials into Gaza

14:39, November 10, 2009      

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A senior United Nations official Monday called on Israel to reopen the crossing points to allow construction raw-materials into the Gaza Strip blockaded by Israel.

Maxwell Gaylard, UN Humanitarian Affairs coordinator in the Palestinian territories, told a news conference in northern Gaza that Gaza population are in need for construction materials to rebuild their destroyed homes.

During a 22-day Israeli air, ground and sea military offensive on the Gaza Strip early this year, more than 20,000 Palestinian houses and government buildings, including schools and hospitals, were destroyed.

"The winter is coming, and there are hundreds of homeless people who need their homes to be built as soon as possible," said Gaylard, calling on Israel to reopen the crossings and allow raw materials into the impoverished enclave.

After touring al-Salam neighborhood east of Jabalia town in northern Gaza Strip, Gaylard said that "Gaza people need cements, bricks and glass to fix their homes in addition to their needs of fuel, water and electricity."

He added that "this season will be difficult, mainly for children who are exhausted due to the shortage of basic needs and due to growing percentage of unemployment. Therefore, I call on Israel from here to reopen the crossings."

Israel has been imposing a tight blockade on the Gaza Strip right after Hamas movement seized control of the enclave by force in June 2007 after routing forces loyal to President Mahmoud Abbas.However, Israel was easing the blockade by allowing humanitarian materials into the region.

"More than two years of a tight blockade and the latest Israeli war on Gaza had caused severe damages to the daily living and to the houses of hundreds of Palestinians," said Gaylard.

More than 1,400 Palestinians, two-thirds of whom were women and children, were killed and more than 5,000 people injured during the Israeli war on Gaza.

"Hundreds of devastated families were left living in fear and shock," Gaylard said. "Many of them are still living in tents near the rubble of the destroyed homes and they rely on the daily humanitarian aid they receive from the United Nations," he added. 

Source: Xinhua
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