"Cycle of build and destroy must end" in Gaza: Ban Ki-moon

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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

The cycle of build and destroy in Gaza must end, the UN Secretary-General urged on Tuesday.

Mr Ban Ki-moon was speaking to members of the Security Council during a quarterly open debate on the Middle East.

He said the international community cannot be expected to continually pick up the pieces of another war and then pick up the bill.

Some 50 countries pledged over $5 billion dollars for the reconstruction of Gaza during a recent Conference on Palestine in Egypt.

Mr Ban said these promises needed to be quickly materialized into concrete aid on the ground.

"The clock is ticking. $414 million is immediately needed for humanitarian relief, $1.2 billion for early recovery needs and $2.4 billion for reconstruction efforts. More than 100,000 residents of Gaza remain homeless with over 50,000 still sheltering in UNRWA school buildings."  (25″)

Many people in Gaza still lack access to running water, Mr Ban said, adding that blackouts of up to 18 hours per day are common.

Jocelyne Sambira, United Nations.

Duration:  1’11″

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