Israeli attacks in Gaza leave 108,000 homeless, says UN

Shia News Agency: THE UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, said on Tuesday in Geneva, after the assessment  of the damaged areas, that Israeli airstrikes in the Gaza Strip have rendered more than 108,000 Palestinians homeless.

Jens Laerke, Spokesman for the office said that an estimated 18,000 housing units, representing 13 per cent of housing in the Gaza Strip, have been destroyed or heavily damaged.

“The ceasefire that Israel and the Palestinians agreed to a week ago, allowed the damage to be assessed, as the organisations on the ground report that the scale of destruction is unprecedented,” he said.

Laerke said the damage has exacerbated the housing crisis in Gaza, which had a deficit of 71,000 housing units before the seven weeks of hostilities.

“Many people were already living in overcrowded or inadequate conditions,” he said.

Laerke said water and electricity networks were also damaged in the Israeli air and ground offensive.

“Ten per cent of the population in Gaza has daily access to water while power is available for six hours per day,’’ he said.

He said repairs have been hampered because several Palestinian electricity, water and sewerage technicians have been killed or injured in Israeli attacks.

Laerke said under the terms of the truce, Israel agreed to the reopening of blocked border points into the Gaza Strip.

He expressed the hope that the agreement would facilitate the import of materials for reconstruction.

The Israeli offensive against Gaza militants began July 8 with the aim to destroy their network of attack tunnels and halt their rocket fire.

More than 2,130 Palestinians, primarily civilians, and 69 Israelis, mainly soldiers, were killed in 50 days of fighting.

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