Monday, August 28, 2006

Palestinian Death Toll Reaches 202 as 'Operation Summer Rains' Extends into its 10th Week

JERUSALEM, August 25, 2006 (WAFA)- The nearly two-month long Israeli military operation in the Gaza Strip continues to exact a heavy toll on the 1.4 million Palestinians living in the Gaza Strip, said United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

OCHA revealed in The Gaza Strip Situation Report 07 -24 Aug 2006, that two hundred and two (202) Palestinians, including 44 children have been killed since 28 June, when 'Operation Summer Rains' (the Israeli name for the offensive) began. One Israeli soldier has been killed and 26 Israelis injured in the same period.

Thousands of Palestinians, the report added, have been forced to flee their homes due to repeated ground offensives and intensive shelling by the Israeli Army. "Since 28 June, the Israel Air Force (IAF) launched at least 267 air strikes attacks on the Gaza Strip."

Only a limited amount of humanitarian aid has reached the Gaza Strip in the last ten days following the complete closure of main Karni crossing point. However, according to WFP, all food commodities are available in the market although there is a shortage of milk powder due to the closure of the crossings.

Approximately 120 Palestinian structures including houses, workshops and greenhouses have been destroyed and another 160 damaged by the Israeli military since the beginning of the current operation, the report said.

According to UNDP, electricity networks and bridges have been the hardest hit. UNDP estimates the cost to the electricity networks at $ 1.8 million. Destruction of civilian infrastructure, including the Gaza Power Plant, remains un-repaired, leaving more than a million people with only limited access to power and water.

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