Aid groups say world powers betrayed Gaza

Bethlehem – Ma’an – The international community betrayed the people of Gaza by failing to end an Israeli blockade stymieing reconstruction efforts following last winter’s war, 16 aid and human rights groups said in a report released Tuesday.

The report Failing Gaza: No rebuilding, No recovery, No more excuses, alleges that the world’s powers, particularly the European Union, failed to ensure that aid pledged to Gaza actually reached its intended recipients.

Since the end of the three week military offensive dubbed Operation Cast Lead in January, Israel has allowed only 41 truckloads of construction materials into the Gaza Strip, the groups reported. All of those materials were destined for NGOs implementing piecemeal reconstruction efforts, or repairs to the electricity and sewage networks.

The groups sponsoring the report included Amnesty International, CAFOD, Christian Aid, Medical Aid for Palestinians, Mercy Corps and Oxfam International.

The report said thousands of truckloads of reconstruction materials are needed to rebuild the tens of thousands of homes, businesses, schools, mosques and other buildings destroyed and damaged during the war. As a result, thousands of Gaza residents are still living in tents, and the Strip’s economy remains in ruins...

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