UNRWA Pledges Increasing Efforts to Protect Palestinian Refugees in Gaza

UNRWA Pledges Increasing Efforts to Protect Palestinian Refugees in Gaza

A Palestinian woman sits with a child after receiving food supplies from the United Nations' offices at the United Nations' offices in the Khan Younis refugee camp in the southern Gaza Strip, February 11, 2018. (AFP/Said Khatib)

Director of UNRWA operations in Gaza, Mathias Schemale promised to increase efforts in order to tone down the calamitous humanitarian condition endured by Palestinian refugees in blockaded Gaza Strip.

Schemale promised to reach out to donor parties in order to help construct housing units for Palestinian refugees from Syria (PRS) in the besieged enclave and to secure rental allowances to displaced families.

Some 150 Palestinian refugee families from Syria who returned to the blockaded Gaza Strip have been facing an abject humanitarian situation in the Israeli-blockaded enclave.

The refugees say they have been deprived of humanitarian assistance by UNRWA and the Palestine Liberation Organization.

Palestinians living in the Gaza Strip have been enduring dire living conditions due to the 13-year-long Israeli siege and the devastating upshots of the Israeli onslaughts on the coastal enclave.

Civilians continue to launch cries for help over the high rates of unemployment, lack of financial resources, and movement crackdowns, which they said have made life quite unbearable in Gaza.

The offensives launched by the Israeli military on Gaza have turned the enclave into a hell on earth as most families have lost their sources of incomes, homes, and property.

According to data by the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC), Gaza is one of the world's most densely populated areas, with more than 5,000 inhabitants per square kilometer. The Gaza Strip is smaller than the city of Oslo but is home to three times as many people.

A 2012 UN report predicted the Palestinian enclave would be “unlivable” by 2020 if nothing was done to ease the blockade, but in June 2017 a UN report on living conditions in Gaza stated that all the indicators were going in the wrong direction and that deadline was actually approaching even faster than earlier predicted.

Gaza is described by many Palestinians and humanitarian actors as the world’s largest open-air prison, where nearly 2 million Palestinians live behind a blockade and are refused access to the other occupied Palestinian areas and the rest of the world.

NRC said 7 out of 10 Palestinians in Gaza are registered as refugees, and many of these come from families who were forced to leave their villages in 1948. Many have also been forced to leave their homes due to war, violence, and economic hardship.

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