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Israel-Hamas Truce Talks Gaza Transformed in 7-Month War

Photo : AFP

The OSINT team has meticulously tracked the profound changes unfolding in Gaza since the eruption of conflict in October 2023. As Hamas contemplates a potential agreement, discussions surrounding a ceasefire offer a glimmer of hope. However, the seven-month-long war has wrought extensive devastation upon the territory, profoundly impacting the lives of its 21 lakh inhabitants.

Approximately 60% of structures in Gaza have suffered damage, with a staggering 79,000 buildings completely razed to the ground, as per satellite analyses. The scale of destruction is alarming, with an estimated 370,000 housing units left in varying states of disrepair, as highlighted in a recent report by the UN Development Program (UNDP) and the Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia.

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Reconstructing the fully destroyed housing units alone presents a daunting challenge, with projections suggesting it could take up to 80 years to complete the task if the pace mirrors that of previous Gaza conflicts, according to assessments by the UNDP. Even under the most optimistic scenario, where construction materials are delivered at five times the rate witnessed during the 2021 Gaza crisis, a comprehensive reconstruction effort would extend until 2040.

The war's toll extends beyond the residential sector, inflicting an estimated $18.5 billion in damage to Gaza’s public infrastructure, equivalent to a staggering 97% of the combined GDP of the West Bank and Gaza in 2022. A recent report by the World Bank Group and the United Nations underscores the breadth of destruction, with housing accounting for 73% of the identified cost, followed by public service infrastructure (18%) and damages to commercial and industrial buildings (9%).

While truce talks offer a glimmer of optimism, celebrations erupted across war-weary Gaza upon Hamas's announcement of a potential ceasefire deal. Despite the absence of public details regarding the terms of the agreement, Israel has voiced reservations, indicating that it does not fully align with its objectives for the Gaza invasion initiated following a deadly attack in October 2023.

In addition to housing, public service infrastructure, including water, health, and education facilities, has been severely impacted, exacerbating the humanitarian crisis gripping the region. The situation is further compounded by Israel's tightening control over Gaza's borders, impeding the flow of essential humanitarian aid.

As the negotiations unfold, concerns mount over the worsening humanitarian situation, with the United Nations World Food Program highlighting the emergence of a "full-blown famine" in northern Gaza. The severity of the crisis underscores the urgent need for a lasting ceasefire agreement and comprehensive humanitarian intervention to alleviate the suffering of Gaza's populace.

May 8, 2024 11:58 a.m. 4459

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