Blockaded Gaza Strip facing disaster: UN official

A senior UN official says the Israeli blockade of the Gaza Strip has put the Palestinian enclave on a “disastrous trajectory.”

Robert Piper, the humanitarian coordinator for the Occupied Palestinian Territory, said Thursday thousands of Palestinians remain homeless since Israel does not let construction materials enter the territory.

The enclave of 1.8 million is struggling to emerge from Israel’s 50-day war which severely damaged its infrastructure in the summer of 2014.

Piper said Israel’s restrictions on the entry of construction materials, insufficient international donations and differences among Palestinian factions have hampered Gaza’s reconstruction.

“Progress is continuing on the recovery process, but there’s no change to the underlying fragility of Gaza. It remains on a frankly disastrous trajectory of de-development,” he said.

Piped said the blockade remains “firmly in place” and the Gazan economy is “completely artificially blocked from the market.”

This file photo taken on August 6, 2014 shows Palestinian men looking at the destruction in part of Gaza City’s al-Tufah neighborhood. (© AFP)

“It’s a blockade that prevents students from getting to universities to further their studies in other places. It’s a blockade that prevents sick people from getting the health care that they need,” he said.

“The biggest gap in repairs is in the reconstruction of houses, the ones that are totally destroyed as opposed to the ones needing repair work,” Pipe added.

The Gaza Strip has been under an Israeli siege since June 2007. The blockade has caused a decline in the standards of living as well as unprecedented levels of unemployment and unrelenting poverty.

This file photo taken on August 6, 2014 shows a young Palestinian looking out over destruction in part of Gaza City’s al-Tufah neighborhood. (© AFP)

In early July 2014, Israel waged a war on the Gaza Strip in which nearly 2,200 Palestinians, including 577 children, were killed. Over 11,100 others – including 3,374 children, 2,088 women and 410 elderly people – were also injured.

By Press TV