Aid official says Gazans have lost hope, situation worse than during war

Categories: Latest News

March 3, 2015

Palestinians walk near the ruins of houses near Gaza City

Palestinians walk near the ruins of houses Feb. 20 that witnesses said were destroyed or damaged by Israeli shelling during a 50-day war last summer, near Gaza City. Six months after the end of the most recent war in Gaza, one aid official said there is still a “grave humanitarian crisis.” (CNS photo/Ibraheem Abu Mustafa, Reuters)

JERUSALEM (CNS) — Six months after the end of the most recent war in Gaza, there is still a “grave humanitarian crisis” in the narrow strip wedged between the Egyptian and Israeli borders, where more than 1.8 million Palestinians live closed off to the world because of an international embargo.

Following a visit to the area at the end of February, Sami El-Yousef, Catholic Near East Welfare Association’s regional director for Palestine and Israel, noted there is an unemployment rate of 70 percent, a high level of debt and little meaningful reconstruction of the buildings destroyed by Israeli bombing during the war.

“One of the most difficult parts of our trip was seeing how much people have lost hope,” he told Catholic News Service March 2. “They really could not see any bright spot at the end of the tunnel; the tunnel does not even exist for them.”

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