One Year Later


One year ago, on July 7, 2014, Israel began an assault on the Gaza Strip that would last 51 days.

While a permanent ceasefire was brokered between Hamas and Israel on August 26, physical safety and freedom of movement continues to be denied to the people of Gaza. The already rapid deterioration of the economy and infrastructure was only hastened by the seven weeks of aerial bombardment.

As of May 2015, 80% of the population in Gaza relied on international aid, mostly just to put food on the table.

Throughout the Gaza Strip, over 100,000 people whose homes were destroyed or made uninhabitable have become homeless as they wait for the slow trickle of building materials to reach them. Families are crammed into sweltering caravans or temporary apartments that many cannot afford.

The massive displacement of people in Gaza coincides with a shortfall in funding for UNRWA (the United Nations Relief and Works Agency), the UN agency responsible for Palestinian refugees. The group's resources have been stretched to meet the massive surge in humanitarian need caused by violent conflicts throughout the region. In June 2015, UNRWA was forced to close its shelters in Gaza and has been unable to fulfil many of its promises of cash allotments to internally displaced families there.

A recent report by an independent commission working for the UN Human Rights Council found ample evidence of possible war crimes committed by Israel, and the council voted to adopt the report and condemn Israel's actions in Gaza. But there is no indication that Israel will be held accountable for the devastation it wrought on Gaza through its blockade imposed since 2007, which it continues to impose.

Vol. 48, No. 7, Aug 23 - 29, 2015