‘Gaza rebuilding might take 100 years if Israeli blockade persists’

Gaza: An international charity organisation Thursday warned that rebuilding the Gaza Strip following last summer’s military offensive by Israel might take “100 years,” if the eight-year-old Israeli blockade persist.

“It could take 100 years to complete essential building of homes, schools and health facilities in Gaza unless the Israeli blockade is lifted,” said an Oxfam report, said Xinhua.

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“Less than 0.25 percent of the truckloads of essential construction materials needed have entered Gaza in the past 3 months,” it said, adding the situation in Gaza is “becoming increasingly desperate”.

Gaza needs more than 800,000 truckloads of construction materials to build homes, schools, health care facilities and other infrastructure following repeated conflicts and years of blockade, according to Oxfam.

“Yet, in January only 579 such trucks entered Gaza,” it said, adding this is even less than the 795 trucks that entered in the previous month.

Around 100,000 Gazans are still living in shelters, temporary accommodations or with extended families after their homes were destroyed. Tens of thousands more families are living in badly damaged homes.

On July 8 last year, Israel waged a 50-day large-scale military offensive on the Gaza Strip, which left 2,200 Palestinians dead and injured over 11,000.

On Oct 12, international donors met in Cairo and pledged $5.4 billion for Gaza’s reconstruction.

However, years of Israeli blockade on the enclave and internal disputes between Palestinian rival groups obstructed this process.

There has been no progress on concrete talks between Palestinians and the Israelis regarding a long-term solution to the crisis in Gaza.