UN official warns of deteriorating Gaza situation

UN official warns of det

The situation in Gaza continues to deteriorate as neither Israel nor the Palestinians do enough to obtain peace, a senior UN official told the UN Security Council on Thursday. Robert Serry, the UN special coordinator for the Middle East peace process, said Israel's announced 10-month suspension of settlement activity fell short of its commitments under the 2003 road map peace plan. He called on Palestinians to resume negotiations with Israel, which were suspended after military operations against Hamas left the Gaza strip in a state of calamity. Serry added that the situation in Gaza remains desperate, with thousands still homeless following Israel's three-week-long offensive there aimed at stopping rocket fire into southern Israel. The UN estimates around 20,000 Gaza residents were made homeless by the offensive. Some 3,500 homes were destroyed, 2,800 were badly damaged and 53,000 others sustained minor damage.