September 17, 2014
The children of Gaza have bleak horizons. About 60,000 houses were damaged of which 20,000 are uninhabitable. Even before the current violence 71,000 homes needed repair or rebuilding. The public infrastructure on which they depend has been eroded by years of blockade with water, sewage and electricity systems decimated further by the latest violence. The neighborhoods where the children of Gaza once played lie in ruins, their recreational spaces littered with unexploded Israeli ordnance, which must be cleared before recovery can begin in earnest. The majority of Gaza’s 110,000 homeless people are children.
Let us move ahead with rebuilding Gaza on the clear understanding that steps will be taken by all sides to avoid another round of violence. It is time to escape the familiar pattern of blockade, rockets and destruction. The children of Gaza and southern Israel deserve better.
Chris Gunness is Spokesman and Director of Advocacy and Strategic Communications at the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees.
Visit the link: Put the children first: Lift the blockade on Gaza