All eyes are presently on Iran these days , or reporting the supposed conciliatory overtures of the Israeli government concerning the establishment of a Palestinian State but what of Gaza that not so long ago suffered the wrathful retribution of Israel .
Virtually all exports are blocked, which has devastated Gaza's economy, pushing unemployment to 40%. Some 80% of the population live in poverty, if aid is discounted, according to UN figures. Half Gaza's population depends on UN rations which cover only two-thirds of dietary requirements. Many families have little or no income with which to make up the shortfall.
Some basic foodstuffs and medicine are allowed into Gaza, but the UN says a whole host of other items have not been allowed in.Recently blocked items: light bulbs, candles, matches, books, musical instruments, crayons, clothing, shoes, mattresses, sheets, blankets, tea, coffee, chocolate, nuts . No petrol or diesel since Nov 2008 (except for the UN) . Half required cooking gas allowed . Virtually no building materials allowed in .
Mr Bailey of Oxfam said "it's a humanitarian crisis for the people that have no money or are living in tents because their homes were destroyed. And it's a human crisis for one and half million people who don't know where to look for hope."