Other effects of the violence, which began in early July: The United Nations, which runs many schools in Gaza, said 500,000 children were unable to begin classes. A spokesman for the Palestinian ministry of education said more than 100 government-run schools are closed while others are being used as shelters.
Most of the blockaded enclave has been without power for 18 hours a day since Israel attacked the territory’s sole power plant on July 29. The damage is said to take up to a year to fix.
People in Gaza also face a shortage of water, with reports indicating that various diseases are spreading among the population that has been displaced due to the Israeli war. According to reports, the displaced Palestinians living in UN-run schools struggle for access to water.
Monzer Shoblak, an official from the local water board, said that the damage from Israel’s month-long offensive against Gaza meant that Gaza was pumping 50 percent less water.
On Sunday, the UN’s Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator Valerie Amos said it may take months to repair the damage Israel inflicted on Gaza’s infrastructure.
She also said that 97 UN installations, including health centers and schools, were damaged in the Israeli war.
Hamas is urging Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to go before the International Criminal Court to prosecute Israeli leaders for war crimes. The Palestinians are not currently under the jurisdiction of the ICC, but would be if they sign the court’s Rome Statute, the treaty that established the court. Back in May, a group of 17 human rights organizations, including Human Rights Watch, signed a letter to Abbas encouraging him to join the ICC.
The United States and Israel and some other nations have pressured Abbas not to take this step, arguing that it would harm peace talks.