The U.N. says more than 75,000 Gazans are homeless. Many seek shelter in U.N. schools or in tents where their homes once stood. And because of electricity shortages, three desalination plants suspended operations; 800,000 lack access to clean drinking water.
The U.N. says Gaza needs $95 million immediately for all basic needs. But Gaza’s suffering began long before this conflict. Both Israel and Egypt maintain a blockade. Unemployment is near 50 percent. And Hamas is everywhere. Its military wing uses residential neighborhoods to fire rockets, some of which land in Gaza, as this reporter has witnessed.
Israel accuses Hamas of redirecting money earmarked for reconstruction, so it can indiscriminately target Israeli communities. This war, they fired an unprecedented number of rockets and caused an unprecedented amount of damage.
Gilad Erdan is Israel’s ambassador to the U.S. and U.N.