Sunday, May 19, 2024

UN says it could take 14 years to clear debris in Gaza Strip

The vast amount of rubble including unexploded ordnance left by Israel's devastating war in the besieged Gaza Strip could take about 14 years to remove, a United Nations official has stated.

Israel’s military campaign against the blockaded enclave has reduced much of the narrow, coastal territory of 2.3 million people to a wasteland with most civilians homeless, hungry and at risk of disease.

Pehr Lodhammar, senior officer at the United Nations Mine Action Service (UNMAS), told a briefing in Geneva on Friday that the war had left an estimated 37 million tons of debris in the widely urbanised, densely populated territory.

He added that although it was impossible to determine the exact number of unexploded ordnance found in Gaza, it was projected that it could take 14 years under certain conditions to clear debris, including rubble from destroyed buildings.

“We know that typically there’s a failure rate of at least 10% of land service ammunition that is being fired and fails to function,” he continued, stating, “We’re talking about 14 years of work with 100 trucks.”

At least 34,300 Palestinians have been killed and 77,00 wounded in Israel’s military offensive on Gaza since Oct. 7, according to Gaza’s health ministry.

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