By John Vibes
A spokesman for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees said this week that close to 100,000 people in Gaza will be spending this winter in tents, animal shelters, and shacks that will not do much at all to keep them out of the elements.
According to the spokesman, some children froze to death in Gaza last year due to inadequate living conditions.
“As the winter approaches, one shudders how these people are going to survive,” the UNRWA spokesman, Christopher Gunness, said in an interview with Reuters last week.
“What these people need is proper homes,” he added.
Many homes in the war-torn area have been demolished by the Israeli military, and a current blockade against shipping materials into the region has prevented anyone from rebuilding.
“The underlying dynamics that saw the war in 2014 are still there. Indeed they’ve probably got worse because in 2014 there weren’t 13,000 families whose homes were uninhabitable. Even if Gaza was reconstructed magically tomorrow morning, unless Gaza is allowed to function economically, then it’s hard to see how the instability is going to go away,” Gunness said.
As we reported earlier this year, it was stated in a recent United Nations report that Gaza could become “uninhabitable” in the next 5 years.
In addition to military checkpoints and constant military patrols, the people of Gaza are separated from the natural resources that they need by a massive wall, and there is a strict blockade preventing them from engaging in trade with other countries, or even from receiving aid. This situation, compounded by relentless military attacks, has resulted in a situation where the area is nearly uninhabitable for the people who live there.
John Vibes is an author, researcher and investigative journalist who takes a special interest in the counter-culture and the drug war.
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