65,000 Palestinians in Gaza left homeless by Israeli bombardment

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Palestinians search through the rubble of their home destroyed by Israeli strikes in Khuza’a, southern Gaza Strip. UN Photo/Shareef Sarhan

Over 65,000 Palestinians have no homes to go back to after they were destroyed during the recent Israeli military offensive in Gaza.

Preliminary estimates by the United Nations indicates that over 10,000 housing units were destroyed or severely damaged.

There has also been extensive damage and destruction to basic infrastructure including water and sanitation networks, the Gaza power plant as well as scores of schools and medical facilities.

The United Nations Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator for the Occupied Palestinian Territory James Rawley says the on-going pause in the fighting has enabled humanitarian workers to deliver food rations to the displaced population and also commence vital repairs to water and sanitation infrastructure.

Mr Rawley is appealing to Israel and Palestinian factions to ensure the ceasefire extends beyond the 72 hour deadline.

During the four week conflict, at least 1,380 Palestinians civilians were killed including 423 children and 224 women.

Mr Rawley says a more permanent solution to the Palestinian issue was needed including the lifting of restrictions on movement of people and goods that Israel has put in place for the last seven years.

He says without the full lifting of the blockade of the Gaza Strip, Palestinians will continue to be deprived of any sense of a normal life and the massive reconstruction effort now required will be impossible.

Patrick Maigua, United Nations, Geneva.

Duration 1.25″

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