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Gaza faces the long road to recovery

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Gaza faces the long road to recovery


The lull in fighting between Israel and Hamas militants has allowed some in Gaza to confront the challenge of rebuilding their lives.

Across the coastal territory entire streets, houses and shops have been laid to waste.
According to initial figures from Gaza’s main UN aid agency, some 10,000 homes have been destroyed or damaged beyond repair during the month-long conflict.

In Deir al-Balah in the southern Gaza Strip the Al-Awdah factory, established in 1977, once employed 600 workers producing ice cream and biscuits. Now it is a pile of rubble.

The factory’s owner Mohammed Telbani was all too aware of the problems he faces:

“The factory will take two years to be rebuilt and to return to how it was before. And that’s only if the raw materials of cement and iron are allowed in. If those kinds of materials are allowed to enter Gaza and are not restricted by the blockade.

Over in the West Bank, Palestinians are baking bread for their brothers in Gaza. The World Food Programme (WFP) approached the owner to increase output to supply Palestinian refugees sheltering in UN schools.

WFP Director for West Bank and Gaza Pablo Recalde explained:

“The bakeries in Gaza became unable to provide bread in the quantities necessary and that’s why we’ve come to a place like this, to try and to export, or to actually transit the bread into Gaza from the West Bank.”

The three day truce has allowed for aid to enter the Gaza Strip. The number of lorries has risen to about 200 – that is almost the same as pre-war levels. But one driver said that food and drink were not the most important things Gazan’s need – it’s the materials to rebuild their homes.

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