THE Gaza Strip could become â€œuninhabitableâ€ within five years, a United Nations report released Tuesday warns, as a result of Israeli military operations and a nearly decade-long blockade that have crippled its economy and infrastructure.
Gaza, a small territory thatâ€™s home to about 1.8 million Palestinians, had â€œno time for meaningful reconstruction or economic recoveryâ€ after eight years of a devastating Israeli economic blockade, wrote the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) in its annual report. The agency, which has provided assistance to displaced Palestinians, also attributed the impoverished conditions to three successive Israeli military operations over the past six years.
â€œThe social, health and security-related ramifications of the high population density and overcrowding are among the factors that may render Gaza unliveable by 2020, if present trends continue,â€ the U.N. report said. â€œReconstruction efforts are extremely slow relative to the magnitude of devastation, and Gazaâ€™s local economy did not have a chance to recover.â€
Since the most recent Israeli military operation in 2014, more than 20,000 Palestinian homes, 148 schools and 60 healthcare centers in Gaza have been damaged or destroyed, according to the U.N. – Time