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Massive destruction in Gaza. (Photo: Abdallah Aljamal, The Palestine Chronicle)

By Palestine Chronicle Staff  

Israel’s war on Gaza has left an estimated 37 million tonnes of debris.

Clearing the besieged Gaza Strip of unexploded bombs could take up to 14 years, according to UN demining experts.

Pehr Lodhammar, a senior officer from the United Nations Mine Action Service (UNMAS), said that Israel’s war on Gaza, since October 7, has left an estimated 37 million tons of debris.

“All I can say is that at least 10 per cent of the ammunition that is being fired potentially fails to function…with 100 trucks we’re talking about 14 years of work with 100 trucks, so that’s 14 years to remove with about 750,000 workdays – person workdays – to remove the debris,” Lodhammar explained.

Lodhammar said it was impossible to determine the exact amount of unexploded ordnance in the besieged enclave, according to a UN News report.

After nearly seven months of intense Israeli bombardment,  formerly heavily built-up and densely populated neighborhoods have been reduced to rubble.

Every square meter in Gaza impacted by the conflict contains some 200 kilograms of rubble, he reportedly said.

Scale of Destruction

In February, a United Nations report assessed that if Israel’s current assault on Gaza was to end immediately, it would take decades and substantial foreign aid to rebuild the socioeconomic conditions in the enclave to pre-conflict levels.

The United Nations Conference On Trade And Development (UNCTAD) said that “if the current military operation were to end immediately with reconstruction starting right away and the 2007-2022 growth trend persists with an average growth rate of 0.4 percent, it would take Gaza until 2092 just to restore the GDP levels of 2022 with GDP per capita and socioeconomic conditions continuously declining.”

UNCTAD however added that even with the most optimistic scenario that GDP could grow at 10 percent annually it would still take Gaza’s GDP per capita until 2035 to pre-blockade level of 2006.

$1.21 billion Required

Meanwhile, the UN Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA)has said it seeks $1.21 billion to address the “unprecedented humanitarian crisis” in Gaza and the occupied West Bank.

“This war should not become the new norm as we get into another sad milestone: 200 long days of brutality, loss, despair and anxiety. All efforts must be exerted to reach a long overdue ceasefire. Until then, much more support must come to UNRWA to allow us to respond to vast and growing humanitarian needs,” said Philippe Lazzarini, UNRWA Commissioner-General in a statement last week.

Currently on trial before the International Court of Justice for genocide against Palestinians, Israel has been waging a devastating war on Gaza since October 7.

Staggering Death Toll

According to Gaza’s Ministry of Health, 34,488 Palestinians have been killed, and 77,643 wounded in Israel’s ongoing genocide in Gaza starting on October 7.

Moreover, at least 7,000 people are unaccounted for, presumed dead under the rubble of their homes throughout the Strip.

Palestinian and international organizations say that the majority of those killed and wounded are women and children.

The Israeli war has resulted in an acute famine, mostly in northern Gaza, resulting in the death of many Palestinians, mostly children.

The Israeli aggression has also resulted in the forceful displacement of nearly two million people from all over the Gaza Strip, with the vast majority of the displaced forced into the densely crowded southern city of Rafah near the border with Egypt – in what has become Palestine’s largest mass exodus since the 1948 Nakba.

Israel says that 1,200 soldiers and civilians were killed during the Al-Aqsa Flood Operation on October 7. Israeli media published reports suggesting that many Israelis were killed on that day by ‘friendly fire’.

(The Palestine Chronicle)

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