World Bulletin/News Desk
A senior Hamas leader on Friday accused the United Nations of "negligence" with regards to the reconstruction of the Gaza Strip following last summer's Israeli onslaught.
"The UN does not care about the pain and suffering of nearly two million [Gazan] citizens," Khalil al-Hayya said during the weekly Friday sermon.
"Five months have passed since the war has ended, and the reconstruction has yet to start," he said. "The UN's mechanism hinders any chance for genuine reconstruction in Gaza. It is only an additional blockade."
The Hamas leader warned that further delays in the reconstruction effort could lead to a "full-blown uprising that could affect all parties involved."
"The amount of cement that has entered Gaza over the past six months does not satisfy Gaza's needs for one day," he said.
In October, Israel allowed the entry of a limited amount of building supplies into the Gaza Strip – after a blockade that lasted seven years – as per an agreement between Israel, the UN and the Palestinian Authority.
The slow pace of reconstruction, however, has invited the ire of several Palestinian factions and civil society organizations.
During Israel's recent 51-day onslaught, 15,671 housing units were damaged across the coastal enclave, including 2,276 that were totally destroyed, according to official Palestinian figures.
More than 2,160 Gazans, mostly civilians, were killed – and another 11,000 injured – during seven weeks of unrelenting Israeli attacks throughout July and August.
The Israeli offensive finally ended on August 26 with the announcement of an indefinite cease-fire with Palestinian resistance factions.
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