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UN: Israel bombed Gaza 'back to the mud age'
Published Wednesday 30/12/2009 (updated) 01/01/2010 14:22
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A Gazan woman inside a new mud
home built by UNRWA [MaanImages]
Bethlehem – Ma’an – The UN relief agency UNRWA said on Tuesday that Gaza had been “bombed back, not to the Stone Age, but to the mud age,” because the agency was reduced to building houses out of mud due to Israel’s ban on construction materials entering the Strip.

“The Israeli blockade has meant that almost no reconstruction materials have been allowed to move into Gaza even though 60,000 homes were either damaged or completely destroyed. So we in UNRWA have been saying ‘let's lift this senseless blockage,’” UNRWA spokesman Chris Gunness told UN Radio, according to the UN news service.

Israel’s three-week offensive on Gaza last December and January left more than 1,400 Palestinians, and 13 Israelis, dead.

One year after the war, thousands of buildings remain in ruins due to the ban on construction materials.

Also on Tuesday, the United Nation’s senior expert on Palestinian rights repeated a call for economic sanctions on Israel to force it to end its blockade of Gaza which has prevented recovery from last winter’s war.

“Obviously Israel does not respond to language of diplomacy, which has encouraged the lifting of the blockade and so what I am suggesting is that it has to be reinforced by a threat of adverse economic consequences for Israel,” Richard Falk, the Special Rapporteur on human rights in the Palestinian territories, told UN Radio.

“That probably is something that is politically unlikely to happen, but unless it happens, it really does suggest that the United States and the Quartet and the EU don’t take these calls for lifting the blockade very seriously and are unaffected by Israel’s continuing defiance of those calls,” he said, referring to the diplomatic Quartet of the UN, EU, Russia and US.
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1 ) Carlos / USA
31/12/2009 14:05
I would like to commend Palestinian ingenuity for building such nice homes from mud. The picture looks very nice. I understand glass is not allowed in either. It is this type of ingenuity which will preserve the Palestinians to survive the seige. My prayers and heart go out to courageous Palestinians. I hope the Israeli criminals who caused all this damage are put in prison for their crimes.

2 ) sandra budak / new zealand
31/12/2009 22:35
Well said Carlos....I have so much admiration for the way the people of Gaza cope in the most extreme of circumstances....They have fancy names United States and the Quartet and the EU , but they are not going to change this situation.We the people, the common man have to make the freeing of Gaza indeed of the whole of Palestine Free, never forgetting that elsewhere there are also other extreme situations that need attending.Peace and freedom will come if we all work together.

3 ) Mimi / India
01/01/2010 12:28
Are there any architects in Gaza? This may be a good opportunity for them to look at variations of cob homes and research technology into green housing in Gaza. See: http://www.cobworks.com/

4 ) O'Brien / UK
01/01/2010 16:43
The Quartet are actually supporting Israel and Egypt in activities that make a mockery of the UN Charter and of all the moral progress made after two World Wars. Only the decent average men and women in each country can bring about change. Let's not forget either that 80% of the people in Gaza are in fact ISRAELI citizens, excluded for up to six decades from their homes in Israel simply because these ISRAELI citizens are not Jews. Unbelievable that this fact is always kept quiet by the media.
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