UNRWA halts construction projects in Gaza Strip

The United Nations on Monday suspended vital construction projects like homes, schools and sewers in the Gaza Strip, blaming shortage of raw materials - just the latest hardship facing the overcrowded, poverty-stricken territory buffeted by infighting, ruled by Islamic militants and tightly controlled by Israel. John Ging, director of UNRWA, the U.N. Relief and Works Agency in Gaza, said a "huge number" of houses in refugee camps were damaged during months of clashes between Hamas and rival Fatah forces in Gaza, and now his agency can't repair them. Also, he said, school repairs and construction have fallen behind schedule, and Gaza kids might be left on the dusty streets instead of in classrooms.