UN says Gaza is "grim and miserable"

Other News Materials 16 February 2008 04:02 (UTC +04:00)

( dpa ) - Living conditions in Gaza Strip have worsened because of the continued restrictions and closure of crossing points by Israel, the top UN humanitarian coordinator said Friday in Jerusalem.

"I have been shocked by the grim and miserable things that I have seen and heard, which are the result of current restrictions and limitations on the number of goods that are being allowed into Gaza," John Holmes said.

He said around 80 per cent of the estimated 1.3 million Gaza inhabitants are depending on food aid from international organizations, while poverty and unemployment are increasing and the private sector has more or less collapsed.

Holmes, a former British ambassador, was assessing the situation in Gaza before making recommendations to Israel and the Palestinian Authority to alleviate conditions there.