World

ESCWA Reports Over 360,000 Buildings Damaged or Destroyed in Gaza Strip

The Gaza Strip, a small self-governing Palestinian territory on the eastern coast of the Mediterranean Sea, has been the epicenter of a devastating conflict. The United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) recently reported that 360,000 buildings in the Gaza Strip have been partially damaged or destroyed.

The conflict has left an indelible mark on the region’s infrastructure. More than 50% of the buildings were destroyed, and 360,000 structures in Gaza were partially damaged or destroyed. This includes residential buildings, schools, universities, and other vital structures. The destruction has not only altered the physical landscape of the Gaza Strip but also deeply impacted the lives of its residents.

Satellite images analyzed by the United Nations Satellite Centre (UNOSAT) show that 35% of all buildings in the Gaza Strip have been damaged, including more than 31,000 that were completely destroyed. The southern city of Khan Younis has experienced the most significant rise in damage, with more than 12,000 additional damaged structures recorded.

The conflict has also taken a toll on the education sector. Around 305 schools or universities were destroyed, with 100 of them being completely demolished. This has disrupted the education of thousands of children and young adults, adding to the challenges faced by the war-torn region.

The destruction extends beyond residential and educational buildings. Infrastructure in the Gaza Strip has suffered significant damage. One of Gaza’s two fire stations, eight of 11 police stations, four of its six sewage treatment plants, and all eight town halls have been ruined. The loss of these critical facilities has further exacerbated the humanitarian crisis in the region.

The humanitarian crisis in the Gaza Strip is further exacerbated by the closure of crucial aid crossings due to heavy fighting. Over 100,000 people have been forced to flee north, leaving their homes and belongings behind. The UN reports that food and fuel supplies in the area are critically low.

Despite the grim situation, the resilience of the people of Gaza Strip shines through. Amid the ruins, they continue to strive for normalcy, rebuilding their lives one day at a time. The international community’s support is crucial in this regard, providing much-needed aid and resources for reconstruction.

In recent developments, Israel launched fresh strikes in the Gaza Strip after negotiators pursuing a long-stalled truce agreement left talks in Cairo without having secured. The situation remains fluid, with the prospects of peace hanging in the balance.

As we pen this report, the people of Gaza Strip continue to live under the shadow of conflict. Their struggle is a stark reminder of the human cost of war. It underscores the urgent need for a peaceful resolution to the conflict, one that ensures the safety and dignity of all people involved.

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