A ceasefire between Israel and Hamas held into a third day on Sunday as mediators spoke to all sides about extending the period of calm after the worst outbreak of conflict in years.
Mediators from Egypt have been shuttling between Israel and the Gaza Strip, which is dominated by Hamas, to try to maintain the ceasefire and have also met the Islamist group’s rival, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, in the occupied West Bank.
The United Nations Humanitarian Coordinator, Lynn Hastings, said on Sunday that the UN would launch an appeal to repair the damage in densely populated Gaza, where there is a threat of COVID-19.
“The escalation has exacerbated an already dire humanitarian situation in Gaza, generated by nearly 14 years of blockade and internal political divisions, alongside recurrent hostilities,” she said in a statement issued from the Palestinian enclave.
“We must also ensure support to continue addressing needs that already existed, including those arising from the ongoing pandemic.”
US President Joe Biden has said that Washington will work with UN agencies on expediting humanitarian aid for Gaza in a manner that does not permit Hamas to simply restock its military arsenal.
Palestinian officials put reconstruction costs of ten million dollars in Gaza, where medical officials said that 248 people were killed during the 11 days of fighting.