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The residents of the Gaza Strip have now endured a full six months of bombardment, siege and displacement at the hands of the Israeli military. The human cost has been devastating: more than 33,000 killed, a further 1.9 million displaced and more than a million living in famine conditions.

But these are not just problems for the now. The scale of destruction will set back any ambitions that Palestinians in Gaza – and the international community – may have had about turning the enclave into anything approaching a functioning society. Dima Nazzal, research director of the Center for Health and Humanitarian Systems, lays out the challenge facing those confronted with rebuilding a war-shattered Gaza. She explains how each separate problem – health, hunger, education, housing – impacts and exacerbates the others. It is, Nazzal writes, a condition of “cascading crises.”

Nazzal adds: “And as hard as it is to look beyond the daily horrors of warfare in Gaza, there will be a time when the world starts to turn to recovery and reconstruction. The concern is that the cascading crises will amplify the human costs of this conflict for years to come.”

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Matt Williams

Senior International Editor

Palestinians look for survivors after a Israeli strike in Gaza on Oct. 31, 2023. AP Photo/Doaa AlBaz

Rebuilding Gaza was seen as a ‘Herculean’ task before Oct. 7; six months of bombing has led to crises that will long outlive the war

Dima Nazzal, Georgia Institute of Technology

The Palestinian enclave faces an interconnected series of crises that will amplify the human costs of conflict even when the bombing ends.

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