GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip, (AP) – The United Nations’ humanitarian chief has begun a tour of the Gaza Strip to examine the extent of the devastation left behind by a three-week Israeli offensive.
John Holmes says the number of casualties is “extremely shocking.” He also wants Israel to conduct a thorough investigation into shelling attacks that damaged U.N. buildings in Gaza.
Holmes says he’s thinking about immediate humanitarian needs and longer-term reconstruction. He says the biggest concerns are providing clean water, sanitation, electricity and shelter.
Holmes says Gaza’s border crossings will have to be opened to allow reconstruction materials into the area.
Israel and Egypt have kept the crossings largely closed since Hamas militants seized power of Gaza in 2007. Hamas wants the borders opened as part of any long-term cease-fire.