Three years after the war in 2014, Gaza citizens continue to live in rubbles. Of 11,000 homes totally destroyed during the war, a little over one third have been rebuilt, WAFA news agency reports. Many families continue to live in tents, according to a report by the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) on the situation for civilians in Gaza. The rapport comes three years after the 2014 Gaza-Israel war.
“I built a tent and stayed in it for three years, while waiting for Gaza to be rebuilt. We’re still living in it (…) We are alive now because death hasn’t bothered to take us yet. It will be way better for us to die, as we won’t face problems anymore,” Thaer Al Sheesh, a father of four living in Gaza, told NRC.
8 July 2014, the conflict between Israel and Hamas evolved into a full-scale war which has costed 1492 Palestinian and six Israeli civilian lives. In addition to the 11,000 homes totally destroyed, 160,000 homes were damaged during the seven weeks of war.
“Palestinians in Gaza are still waiting for their homes to be rebuilt. 6,300 families remain displaced with no home to return to, in the absence of funding,” NRC´s Country Director in Jerusalem, Hanibal Abiy Worku says.
In addition to the devastating consequences of the last war, Palestinians in Gaza are also suffering the impact of a 10-year long siege leading to increased want and need. Reconstruction efforts have been adversely affected by the restrictions on building materials imposed by Israel, as well as lack of funding.
Three years after, 35,000 people remain displaced and the Gazan society is at the brink of collapse as the severe power shortages have all but ground Gaza to a halt. The situation in Gaza has become increasingly dire in recent months, with power cuts and lack of fuel for generators for hospitals, water treatment plants, sewerage pumps and other key facilities.
Over halfway into the year, only 30 percent of the promised funding for the humanitarian appeal has been covered. This leaves a funding gap at over $380 million.
“Even if the necessary funding is made available immediately, we are still looking at another year of construction before the displaced families can return to their homes,” Worku says.
Humanitarian assistance is subject to the ations of the siege imposed by Israel and is not enough to help families break out of the cycle of aid dependency.
All parties are encouraged to overcome differences, with the support of the international community, said NRC. As an immediate measure of addressing humanitarian needs, support should be provided for continuity of essential services in the sectors of shelter, health, water and sanitation, NRC added.