Gaza Cost Far Exceeds Estimate, Official Says

UN Contingency Plans Underestimated Civilian Toll of War

No one whose followed the situation in Israel was shocked by this summer’s Gaza War, the seventh in as many years. The United Nations certainly planned for it, with a contingency plan reckoning 50,000 displaced they’d have to shelter.

That sounded great until 350,000 people showed up at their shelters, with Israel ordering civilians out of residential areas en masse. The shelters were bombed too, which was also not in the UN’s game plan.

UNICEF says that the underestimates added to the “extraordinarily dire” humanitarian situation in dire, and that without a significant easing of the Israeli blockade, the damage caused by six weeks of Israeli attacks would take at least 18 years to repair.

The top UNICEF official for Gaza, Canadian human rights lawyer Pernille Ironside, slammed the bombings as leaving Gaza’s children “terrified and terrorized,” and urged an end to the bombings and blockade.

On the Israeli side, the cost has been almost entirely military, with the Gaza rockets doing little significant damage. Israel’s military cost has been estimated at a little over $3.6 billion, with the United States of course covering pretty much all of that out of their annual and emergency aid.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.