‘7 months later’: UNRWA updates us on status of post-invasion Gaza

This tweet says so much that there is little I can add except a few statistics to help contextualize what might be one of the most distressing facts of the year.

The United Nations estimates that 96,000 homes in the Gaza Strip were affected by Israel’s massive assault in 2014. Of these, 7,000 were totally destroyed, displacing more than 10,000 families. Many of these families are still searching for a permanent place to live. But even that is a disingenuous thing to say since many families have found permanence in UNRWA schools, for example.

Let us repeat: There are 7,000 concrete skeletons in Gaza right now.

The remaining 89,000 homes were damaged — 10,000 of them severely — but not completely destroyed. Most families continue to live in these structures despite the obvious structural problems. But the alternatives are few and far in between. And even if families manage to find other places to go, many stay rooted. My grandmother refused to leave her home after an Israeli airstrike destroyed half of the structure in January 2003. She even kept the shell in place. Many consider being forced by Israel to leave home as unacceptable and even an insult to those who have suffered at the hands of their occupiers for refusing to disappear.

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