Gaza: Only Rubble Where Homes Once Stood

December 9, 2014

A temporary ceasefire in Gaza allowed civilians to visit some of the hardest hit areas. Tens of thousands found only rubble where their homes had stood. UNRWA Commissioner-General Pierre Krähenbühl visited UNRWA installations all over the Gaza Strip, meeting UNRWA staff and thanking them for their extraordinary work in helping Palestine refugees in this crisis. Shortly after, on 18 August, the hostilities resumed, paralyzing early recovery planning for Gaza’s homeless. UNRWA again saw a dramatic increase in internally displaced persons seeking shelter in UNRWA schools throughout the Strip. Mr. Krähenbühl told media that UNRWA estimates around 17,000 homes had been destroyed at this point of the conflict, rendering 100,000 people homeless. He stressed that Gaza needs a “New Deal: recovery and reconstruction.” Mr. Krähenbühl remarked that was struck by the extent of destruction on a scale unprecedented for Gaza in recent times. “We need to rethink the Gaza paradigm that has seen thousands of civilians killed and injured and wreaked so much destruction, in a pattern of violence that erupts every two or three years”, he said.