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The Crisis of Gaza Displaced Families and Demolished Homes
Continues Two Years After the Israeli Savage War of 2014
By Ibrahim Natil
|Israeli destruction of
Palestinian neighborhood in Khan Younis, Gaza Strip, July 26, 2014
On December 1, 2015, Society Voice Foundation- SVF launched this 12
months project to advocate the rights of displaced families whose homes
were demolished by the Israeli war machines during the summer 2014. This
project is funded by Human Rights and IHL Secretariat to raise the
concerns and demands of these families who lost their houses at the
national and international levels. SVF will lead campaigns to influence
the decision makers from the public, international and local organizations
to achieve the demands of these vulnerable families including children,
women and elderly people. SVF will raise the demands of these people of
rebuilding their homes and integrating them in their locations once again.
To do so, SVF will organize a national network of at least 50 key civil
society activists and organizations from all social and political
spectrums to support the campaign. The activities of the national network
led by SVF will engage the national and international media to raise the
concerns of displaced people to various decision makers and relevant
organizations. Campaign also involves conducting public debate activities
including hall town meetings, focus groups, local and regional conferences
and high level meetings in all areas of the Gaza Strip.
There have been thousands of Palestinian
families in the Gaza Strip affected by the last Israeli military operation
summer 2014. This operation has already created a new
environment of destruction, family displacement overloaded with
devastating psychological problems. It has left 100,000 Gazans homeless
and over 2,100 dead, the majority of them Palestinian civilians, compared
with 76 Israeli fatalities, all soldiers. These displaced people have lost
their homes and dignity when they found themselves without any shelter.
All mechanisms of rebuilding their houses have already failed to do so due
to a number of restrictions and de factor situations in the Gaza Strip.
This complicated and hostile environment imposes huge challenges on PA. It
has already increased pressures and demands on work of local and
international organizations including UNRWA to achieve their agenda of
peace and development. This has created massive new challenges for PA,
Hamas, International organizations and Gaza NGOs as they struggle to meet
citizens’ needs and demands transparently and efficiently, not least
because resources are sorely lacking after 10 years of blockades. The
United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Mr.
Nickolay Mladenov, following his first visit to Gaza, on 29 April, 2015
said “No human being who visits can remain untouched by the terrible
devastation that one sees here in Gaza and as shocking as the devastation
of the buildings might be the devastation of peoples’ livelihoods is 10
times more shocking”.
Thus, peace, relief and development process
face a various ranges of serious challenges due to high level of hostile
political environment and absence of human security at all levels. The
Gaza Strip has been living in very inhuman and risky circumstances since
2006. The Gaza Strip is isolated from the entire world by complicated
closure and restrictions on the movement of people and goods. The society
also faces very high level of unemployment, youth addictions on drugs,
lack of jobs and resources. The coastal Strip will face a very serious
problem as Gazans may effectively unable to access usable water in 2020.
The entire populations including are dependent on the international
assistance. They also suffer from high level of psychological problems
because the coastal strip faced three different large scales of Israeli
military offensives that caused major loses of lives among youth, women
and children and destruction of already impoverished infrastructure.
However, the United Nations mechanism to reconstruct the Gaza Strip after
the last war in summer 2014 has a limited progress. “Gaza reconstruction
will take a century to complete due the Israeli blockade” (Oxfam, 2015).
The slow mechanism of recovery is another serious challenge on Hamas
transformation to play a real role in peace building in Gaza Strip. The
security environment in Gaza Strip is very fragile as the entire
population has been suffering from the impact of the latest war, closure,
slow process of reconstruction and the failure of internal Palestinian
reconciliation between Hamas and Fatah in addition to the peace process
between PLO and Israel.
Ibrahim Natil is the founder of the Society Voice
Foundation in Palestine and a human rights campaigner.
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