UN says Gaza destruction ‘unprecedented’

United Nations: The recent conflict in the Gaza Strip has caused “unprecedented” destruction, leaving hundreds of thousands people homeless, the UN said Tuesday, quoting the latest assessment after the ceasefire.

“Organisations on the ground report that the scale of destruction is ‘unprecedented’. An estimated 18,000 housing units have been either destroyed or severely damaged, leaving more than 108,000 people homeless,” Xinhua quoted UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric as saying.

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“Finding temporary housing solutions for these people will be one of the major challenges facing local authorities and the humanitarian community in the coming period,” Dujarric said.

Electricity is still out for 18 hours a day in most areas across Gaza and only 10 percent of the population receives water daily, Dujarric added.

According to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs(OCHA), the ceasefire in Gaza since Aug 27 has now allowed for “a more in-depth assessment” of the structural damage, which found around 13 percent of housing stock in the Gaza Strip has been affected by the conflict.

The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) said over 55,000 displaced people are still sheltering in 36 schools run by the agency.

On July 23, the UN rights agency decided to send a probe committee to the Gaza Strip to investigate possible violations of human rights during the Israeli military offensive in the coastal enclave.

More than 2,000 Palestinians were killed and 10,000 injured since July 8 when Israel launched ‘Operation Protective Edge’ in a bid to stamp out cross-border rocket fire from Hamas-ruled Gaza.

On the Israeli side, five civilians and 64 soldiers have been killed.