UN official says 'root causes' of Gaza crisis remain unresolved
Updated: 2015-07-09 11:01
Palestinian children watch a performance to amuse themselves near the ruins of houses, that witnesses said were destroyed by Israeli shelling during a 50-day war last summer, in the east of Gaza City July 8, 2015. [Photo/Agencies]
UNITED NATIONS - A senior UN official in charge of assisting Palestinian refugees said Wednesday that the "root causes" of last year's conflict in Gaza, which claimed nearly 2,000 lives and ravaged large swathes of the Palestinian enclave, remain unaddressed despite a growing humanitarian crisis in the area.
In a statement issued earlier Wednesday, Pierre Krahenbuhl, the commissioner general of the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA), voiced concern that the "despair, destitution and denial of dignity" resulting from the 2014 war with Israel and from the ongoing blockade remain "a fact of life for ordinary people in Gaza," adding to the mounting humanitarian burden with which they are faced.
"The physical and psychological scars are everywhere to be seen in the Gaza Strip. Countless children live with the traumas endured during the war and over 1,000 live with what will be life- long disabilities," Krahenbuhl declared. "This should be a reminder that conflicts are first and foremost measured by the human cost that they inflict."
Last summer's 51-day conflict killed 1,462 civilians, including 551 children, and injured thousands across the Gaza Strip. Six Israeli civilians, including one child, were also victims of the hostilities, which caused close to 1.4 billion U.S. dollars in direct and indirect damages and 1.7 billion dollars in economic losses to the Palestinian territory, according to the UN.