A top UN official monitoring reconstruction projects in Gaza said the region is on a "disastrous trajectory" with Israel’s blockade and Palestinian divisions hindering the region’s resilience.
Robert Piper, UN deputy special coordinator for the Middle East peace process as well as humanitarian coordinator for the Palestinian territories, told Agence France Presse about the reconstruction project in Gaza Strip.
Piper’s latest visit came amid new tensions in the region which has experienced three wars with Israel since 2008.
"The blockade remains firmly in place and we are trying to work within the constraints of the blockade to get materials in and help, and I can report progress on that... But it remains a blockade. It remains an economy that is completely artificially blocked from the market," Piper said.
"It's a blockade that prevents students from getting to universities to further their studies in other places. It's a blockade that prevents sick people from getting the health care that they need, even if there are every day a few ambulances coming through."
"The biggest gap in repairs - in restoring Gaza to its June 2014 status - is in the reconstruction of houses, the ones that are totally destroyed as opposed to the ones needing repair work," he added.
Approximately 2 million people in Gaza have been deprived of basic needs under the Israeli blockade.
In July and August 2014, Israel launched the 51-day "Operation Protective Edge" in Gaza Strip and killed more than 2,100 people - mostly women and children - and injured another 11,000.