[News] UN: Amount of Destruction in Gaza ‘Unprecedented’

Anti-Imperialist News news at freedomarchives.org
Tue Aug 19 10:56:06 EDT 2014


  UN: Amount of Destruction in Gaza ‘Unprecedented’

author Tuesday August 19, 2014 10:37author by Celine Hagbard
*http://www.imemc.org/article/68884*

    The United Nations Mideast Envoy Robert Serry told the UN Security
    Council on Monday that the Gaza Strip has suffered an ‘unprecedented
    amount of destruction’ as a result of the month-long Israeli
    bombardment and invasion of the coastal strip.

Serry reported that the number of homes and apartment buildings 
destroyed or severely damaged in the Israeli assault is 16,800. In 
contrast, no Israeli homes were damaged severely by Palestinian rocket 
fire during the month long Israeli invasion of Gaza.

Serry noted in his report that the number of homes destroyed is three 
times greater than in ‘Operation Cast Lead’ in 2008-9. That Operation 
was, at the time, the worst damage suffered by the residents of the Gaza 
Strip since the creation of the state of Israel on Palestinian land in 
1948, when over 450 Palestinian villages and towns were destroyed and 
their residents turned to refugees – many of whom ended up in Gaza.

He said that once a durable truce is agreed upon, the reconstruction of 
the Gaza Strip must be the top priority. He noted, “Construction 
material must be allowed into Gaza to this effect -- aggregate, bar and 
cement. And their access to Gaza must be facilitated.”

According to journalist Saree Makdisi, with Mondoweiss.net, who toured 
the Gaza Strip to see the scale of the damage, “In a month of 
indiscriminate bombardment, Israel has killed or injured almost twelve 
thousand people, including thousands of children. It has severely 
damaged or destroyed the homes of some 17,000 families (over 100,000 
people). It has terrorized half a million people into flight from one 
corner of the tiny coastal enclave in which they are trapped to another, 
leaving them in urgent need of food assistance merely to survive. 
Schools, clinics, refugee shelters, hospitals, ambulances, a university 
campus and Gaza’s only power plant have all come under Israeli fire, 
sometimes repeatedly. UN schools designed to accommodate 500 people as 
emergency shelters have been packed with up to 3,000. The social 
infrastructure—already strained to its limits by years of siege—is close 
to breakdown. Hospitals have run low on urgent supplies including water 
and fuel for emergency generators. Morgues were filled; the broken 
bodies of Palestinian children ended up in ice-cream freezers that—in a 
just world—would be those same children’s sources of delight.”

Makdisi also wrote, “Israel’s repeated claim that it targets only rocket 
launchers or tunnels is belied by the scale and nature of the weapons it 
unloaded on Gaza. Its 2000-pound aerial bombs take down entire buildings 
along with everyone in them (almost a thousand buildings have been 
severely damaged or destroyed in such air strikes). Its 155mm howitzer 
shells have a margin of error of 300 yards and a lethal radius of up to 
150 yards from the point of impact. Each of the 120mm flechette shells 
its tank crews fire burst into a 100 by 300 yard shower of 5,000 metal 
darts carefully designed to shred human flesh.”

The most seriously damaged areas are in Khuzaa, in eastern Khan Younis 
in the southern Gaza Strip, Sheja’eyya, in eastern Gaza, east of Gaza 
City near the border with Israel and parts of Beit Lahiya in the north. 
But every part of Gaza suffered damage in the Israeli attack, and 
virtually every neighborhood has some buildings that are completely 
destroyed.

The Palestinian Center for Human Rights called upon the UN Human Rights 
Council to accelerate the formation of the fact-finding mission as 
decided by the Council in the resolution taken in its special session 
that was held on 23 July 2014 to investigate violations of international 
humanitarian law and human rights law in the occupied Palestinian 
territory of Gaza, without any delay from bureaucratic restrictions and 
procedures.

The Security Council took no action following the statement of envoy 
Robert Serry.
-- 
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