More than 4,036 houses in the Gaza Strip were totally destroyed or damaged beyond repair in Israel’s 23-day military conflict in late 2008 and early 2009.
Rebuilding these homes has been almost impossible because Israel has not allowed cement and building materials into Gaza since June 2007, saying they could be used for military purposes.
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A new project by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) aims to build around 120 mud-brick houses for dozens of homeless families in the next few months. Each house costs about US$10,000 and takes three months to build.
While the houses offer better conditions than tents and can stand for 100 years, they are not meant as a long-term solution.
Photography: Suhair Karam: IRIN