It could take 14 years to clear debris in Gaza: UN

The vast amount of rubble including unexploded ordnance left by Israel’s devastating war on the Gaza Strip could take about 14 years to remove, a United Nations official said today, Reuters reported.

Israel’s military campaign against Gaza has reduced much of the narrow, coastal territory of 2.3 million people to a wasteland with most civilians homeless, hungry and at risk of disease.

Pehr Lodhammar, senior officer at the United Nations Mine Action Service (UNMAS), told a briefing in Geneva that the war had left an estimated 37 million tonnes of debris in the widely urbanised, densely populated territory.

He said that although it was impossible to determine the exact number of unexploded ordnance found in Gaza, it was projected that it could take 14 years under certain conditions to clear debris, including rubble from destroyed buildings.

“We know that typically there’s a failure rate of at least 10% of land service ammunition that is being fired and fails to function,” he said. “We’re talking about 14 years of work with 100 trucks.”

At least 34,305 Palestinians have been killed and 77,293 wounded in Israel’s military offensive on Gaza, while tens of thousands are missing, thought to be trapped under the rubble of their homes.

(Source: MEMO)