Japan pledges $500,000 to clear unexploded Israeli ordnance from Gaza
A Palestinian worker checks a house that was destroyed during the 50-day war between Israel and Hamas-led militants in the summer of 2014, east of Gaza City on March 23, 2016. (AFP/Mohammed Abed)
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Japan has donated $500,000 to support efforts aimed at removing unexploded ordnance left over from Israel’s 2014 military onslaught on the Gaza Strip, UN refugee agency UNRWA has said.
In a Wednesday statement, UNRWA said that Japan had contributed $500,000 to the Voluntary Trust Fund for Assistance in Mine Action, which will allow the United Nations Mine Action Service (UNMAS) to mitigate explosive hazards in the blockaded Gaza Strip.
UNRWA has warned that unexploded Israeli ordnance left over from the 2014 conflict continues to pose a major threat to civilians and reconstruction efforts in Gaza.
According to the statement, some 3,000 out of 7,000 explosive devices left over from the Israeli war have so far been dismantled.
Since 2014, at least 16 Gazans have been killed and 97 injured -- including 48 children -- by leftover Israeli ordnance, UNRWA said.
In mid-2014, Israel waged a devastating 51-day onslaught on the Gaza Strip with the ostensible aim of stopping Palestinian rocket fire into Israel.
More than 2,300 Palestinians were killed and some 11,000 injured in the offensive, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry.
By Olah Attalah