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Jobless and homeless in Gaza – breeding destitution

THE LEVANT – Around 30,000 out of Gaza’s total of 330,000 workers have been left without work because of Israel’s latest offensive on the Palestinian territory, Gaza’s Labor Union said.

It added on Sunday that the blockade imposed on the Gaza Strip by Israel since 2007 had also made additional 170,000 workers lose their jobs.

The Labor Union said Israel had destroyed a large number of Gaza’s factories, workshops, companies and commercial shops during its latest offensive on the Gaza Strip.

The number of Palestinians killed in Israeli attacks on the Gaza Strip since July 7 has jumped to 2016, a Palestinian Health Ministry official said Sunday.

“Rescue teams have unearthed the body of a man from under the rubble in the eastern Gaza City residential neighborhood of Shujaya,” Ashraf al-Qodra told Anadolu Agency.

“The Health Ministry has also registered the names of slain victims who had not been registered before,” he added.

Many families buried their dead relatives during the Israeli offensive, which began on July 7, without registering them or obtaining death certificates, given the difficulties entailed in reaching hospitals at the time, al-Qodra explained.

He put the total death toll now at 2016 Palestinians, including 541 children, 250 women and 95 elderly Palestinians.

The health spokesman added that 10,193 other Palestinians – including 3084 children, 1970 women and 368 elderly people – were also injured in the Israeli attacks.

At least 64 Israeli troops were also killed in Gaza combat, while three civilians were killed by rockets fired from the Gaza Strip during the same period, according to official Israeli figures.

Palestinian and Israeli negotiating teams arrived earlier Sunday in Cairo to resume indirect talks as the Egyptian-brokered five-day truce entered its fourth day.

The Palestinians are demanding, among other things, an end to the Israeli aggression, the reconstruction of the Gaza Strip and a total lifting of the blockade imposed by Israel since 2007.

Israel’s war on Gaza has also left hundreds of thousands of men, women and children homeless. If it wasn’t enough to rain death from the sky, Israel has worked systematically to obliterate every home it possibly could in order to inflict maximum pain and destitution.

Dozens of families who fled their homes during the Israeli offensive on Gaza took refuge in al-Shifa hospital in Gaza City, and many Palestinians whose houses were destroyed have continued to shelter there as the situation has calmed.

For some, al-Shifa seemed like the safest place to stay while the bombs fell. Um Yazen and eight members of her family fled the Shujaiyya neighborhood of Gaza City amid Israeli onslaught and are still sleeping on the hospital’s grounds.

“We could not find a nearby house to flee to. Random shelling was everywhere and we did not expect to stay alive,” Um Yazen told Ma’an.

“There is no life in my house that was bombed — we do not have power or water,” she said.

Entire blocks were flattened in Shujaiyya as Israeli forces bombed and shelled the neighborhood on July 20, in an attack that has been dubbed the “Shujaiyya massacre.” At least 70 Palestinians were killed in the area in a single night.

“Life is dead in Shujaiyya. We do not have a house anymore and all the houses around us collapsed and were destroyed.”




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