Gaza 'a disaster zone', says President Mahmoud Abbas

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In the silence of the ceasefire, the devastation of Gaza becomes clear.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has declared the coastal enclave a disaster zone and called on the UN for action.

One resident of the Shejaya district returned to see the damage to his home. Muhammeed Al-Dalo returned to find the house where he lost his father and grandmother just one week ago in ruins.

“Down here are my clothes, our television and other things,” he said. “The clothes that I am wearing, I have been given by others. I do not have anything else to wear and my children have nothing left. I do not know how to get the things out of there.”

More than 1,000 buildings have been destroyed in Shejaya according to local authorities, leaving 10,000 homeless.

Many Gazans continue to take refuge in UN schools, despite attacks in recent weeks. Many are hoping the current ceasefire is a start to a longer truce.

“We want a ceasefire and peace, and for the Arab world to look at us, Are we not humans like everyone else?” asked Miriam Shale, one of the many taking shelter at the UN school in Gaza City. “ Everyone is living except us, we’re miserable and homeless. We’ve suffered from 4 wars in 3 years,” she explained.

Palestinian authorities estimate around 1,900 people have lost their lives in the month-long conflict between Israel and Hamas, almost 400 of them were children.

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