Two years after Israel’s aggression on the Gaza Strip (Operation Cast Lead), tens of thousands of Gaza residents continue to live a life of displacement.
While the United Nations (UN) agencies and international non-governmental organizations (NGOs) have had the willingness and resources to support the re-construction of the houses Israel destroyed during the war, Israel continues to restrict the entry of construction materials, denying the victims from meaningful relief and from their right to adequate housing.
Directly after the military operations ended, the UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki Moon, visited Gaza and expressed his outrage at the scenes of destruction the territory sustained due to Israeli attacks.
Under-Secretary for Humanitarian Affairs, John Holmes, said that, in light of the devastation of infrastructure, “[I]t’s absolutely critical that these kinds of (construction) material now be allowed into Gaza on a regular and hopefully free basis.
”1 Fourteen months later, in March 2010, Mr.
Moon visited Gaza again and criticized the Israeli blockade that had continued to foil the efforts to re-build Gaza.
For the families who lost their homes due to IOF airstrikes and large-scaled demolitions during this operation, life remains difficult.
Over 21,000 people have still been displaced, adding to tens of thousands of persons who were displaced before and after this offensive.
Many families received assistance to repair their partially destroyed homes.
Other who had the resources made the repairs on their own expense.
But for these whose homes were totally demolished, the situation is more difficult, as the efforts to help them fell short of ending their displacement.
This report aims to shed light on their life conditions two years after the war and the loss of their homes.
Al Mezan Centre for Human Rights selected a random sample of 30 families from its ‘home demolitions’ database and asked them about their conditions.
In addition, Al Mezan obtained information from the shelter sector working group, whose member agencies and NGOs helped displaced people repair their homes.