Rassegna Stampa Elezioni Israeliane 2009

Monitoraggio attraverso i media internazionali delle elezioni in Israele del Febbraio 2009

U.N. Secretary-General in Gaza to survey damage

Posted by Andrea Pompozzi su 20 gennaio, 2009

(CNN) — U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon arrived in Gaza Tuesday to assess the damage following Israel’s three-week long bombardment.

Palestinians in Gaza face a huge task to rebuild their lives after Israel's bombardment.

Palestinians in Gaza face a huge task to rebuild their lives after Israel’s bombardment.

Supporters of Hamas rallied in Gaza City ahead of Ban’s visit.

Humanitarian groups have estimated that it will cost billions of dollars to rebuild Gaza’s infrastructure.

Ban is on his first trip to Gaza since he took office nearly two years ago. During the conflict he repeatedly called for a cease-fire.

Ban planned to visit the United Nations’ Gaza headquarters, which were damaged by Israeli fire, according to media reports.

Earlier, Ban met with Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert.

A spokesperson for Ban said during the meeting he expressed his relief that Israel had declared a cease-fire and stressed the importance of the full withdrawal of Israeli troops from Gaza. Video Watch more on withdrawal of Israeli troops »

Ban also told Olmert that the U.N. would continue to play a pivotal role in providing humanitarian assistance to the people of Gaza, as well as in long-term recovery and reconstruction, the spokesperson said.

He told Olmert he was visiting Gaza in solidarity with U.N. staff who had worked heroically, and to demonstrate his respect and concern for all Gazans who lost friends and families.

Ban also planned to visit the Israeli town of Sderot, a regular target for militant’s rockets, the spokesperson said.

More than 1,300 Palestinians died and about 5,400 others were wounded during Israel’s three-week offensive in Gaza, according to the Palestinian Authority’s Central Bureau of Statistics. Among the dead were 159 children.

More than 22,000 buildings were damaged or destroyed, with the Bureau putting the cost at more than $1.9 billion.

The fighting largely stopped Sunday with a cease-fire. Israel has said 13 of its citizens — including 10 soldiers — were killed during the offensive, which started December 27. Video Watch Palestinians recover bodies from rubble »

Israel said its offensive was aimed at stopping Hamas militants from firing rockets into southern Israel.

The attacks destroyed public sector and private buildings in Gaza, affecting even the United Nations Relief and Works Agency’s facilities and halting economic and social services, the statistics agency said. Video Watch Palestinians recover bodies from rubble »

Gaza’s gross domestic product was slashed by 85 percent during the 22 days of war, and it could take a year for the economy to recover, the agency said in a preliminary report.

Isaac Herzog, Israel’s welfare minister, said it had increased “dramatically” the number of trucks carrying aid entering Gaza.

However, aid group Mercy Corps said it was not getting through in large enough quantities.

Spokeswoman Cassandra Nelson said it was “very frustrated” and wanted “unimpeded access” to deliver aid.

Israeli Defense Force spokesman Captain Doron Spielman said as the quiet continued it would be able to open up the border more.

John Ging, the top United Nations official in Gaza, said infrastructure repairs were being made, but 400,000 people still had no water.

Streets in some northern Gaza towns were flooded with sewage, and about 50 U.N. facilities were damaged, he said.




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