by Saud Ramandan
GAZA, Aug. 15 (Xinhua) -- During the five-day ceasefire, brokered by Egypt between Israel and Gaza militants, 30-year-old Mohamed al-Wadeya went to check his home-owned factory, which was destroyed in the air bombardment and tank shells of Israel's month- long military offensive against the Gaza Strip since July 8.
Because of the massive attacks, Gaza's economic, industrial and agricultural facilities, farms and other establishments were largely damaged, with some being completely wiped out.
"Our factory was inaugurated two months ago, when we rebuilt it after it was destroyed during the 22-day war on the Gaza Strip in In this war the Israeli army destroyed it again," said al-Wadeya, as he stood near some damaged machines.
He accused Israel of destroying Gaza's economic and industrial establishment on purpose, adding that "Israel said its war was against militants and against Hamas, but this factory and other factories do not belong to Hamas. So the aim is to keep our economy weak and broken."
"In this factory, there were one hundred workers who are bread earners for one hundred families. After it was destroyed, those families will have no income," said al-Wadeya, adding that "I still don't know how much is exactly our loss, but my estimation is some five million U.S. dollars."
On July 8, the Israeli army launched a large-scale air and ground military operation against the Gaza Strip, saying the aim of the offensive was to rein on militant groups and prevent rockets firing into Israel. 1,981 Palestinians were killed and more than 10,000 wounded.
Mufeed Hasayna, minister of housing and public works in the Palestinian unity government, said the general losses during the Israeli war on the Gaza Strip reached five billion dollars, and around 40,000 constructions were either demolished or damaged during the conflict.
According to the ministry, during five weeks of Israeli war, 5, 238 housing units were completely destroyed, with 30,000 units being partially damaged, but fits for living and 4,374 are badly damaged, but don't fit for living," adding that "around 250 industrial, commercial and agricultural constructions were damaged. "
"The Gaza Strip has been classified as a devastated area and we are afraid of infective diseases and humanitarian disasters that would hit Gaza if all parties don't understand and feel the danger here, where they have to immediately find houses and places to live for around 250,000 displaced people," said Hasayna.
Israel has been imposing a tight blockade on the Gaza Strip since 2007 right after the violent Hamas takeover of the enclave. The blockade deprived around 1.8 million Palestinians from having what they need for construction and industry.