UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) announced Saturday that it had rebuilt the first house in Gaza Strip nearly one year after a major Israeli offensive that demolished thousands of houses, Xinhua reported.
John Ging, the UNRWA's operations director, handed over the house to Majed al-Athamna family in Abed Rabbo neighbored in northeastern Gaza. The family lost their apartment building during the Israeli offensive in December and January.
Due to an Israeli blockade, construction materials are not available in Gaza and the new house was built of mud bricks.
The clay house will not be an everlasting alternative to al- Athamna's apartment building that housed tens of his family members, but compared to his neighbors who still live in tents, the 75-year-old grandfather is very satisfied.
"I thank the UNRWA and call upon the entire world to keep funding the UNRWA so it can help all people in need and build them a house like the one I received today," he said.
For his part, Ging stressed that this step comes as a temporary solution in the shadow of an Israeli blockade. "We are adopting this method for the most desperate cases, this is not a solution, this is a very small scale project."
According to Ging, there are "tens of thousands of people who need help now" and the building of mud houses will only benefit "a few hundred of people who are in the worst scenario."
The Israeli offensive has left about 500 families in tents and destroyed or damaged 11,152 houses, according to Gaza-based al- Mezan center for human rights.