By Saud Abu Ramadan
Gaza, May 23 (EFE).- Dozens of young men and women have banded together to clean Gaza’s streets of rubble left in the wake of the most recent conflict between Israel and militant groups in the blockaded Palestinian territory.
The youths joined a campaign called “We Rebuild Gaza,” which is sponsored by Gaza city authorities and civil organizations.
“We came here today to clean our city from the rubble and dust,” said university student Samira Shayyah, 22, as she helped clean Omer al-Mughtar street in Gaza city center.
“This country is our country and we will rebuild all that the occupation (in reference to Israel) destroyed. As long as we are alive, we will fight with one hand and build with the other.”
The 10 young men and seven women in the group gathered to sweep the streets near the rubble of the al-Shorooq high-rise, a 14-floor building that had housed several international media outlets until it was destroyed by an Israeli precision strike after its occupants were ordered to evacuate.
Israeli strikes launched in response to militant rocket fire from Gaza killed 248 Palestinians, including 66 children and 39 women, according to the Gaza health ministry.
Rocket fire from Palestinian militant groups like Hamas, which de facto controls Gaza, killed 12 in Israel but the majority of the missiles were intercepted by the Iron Dome defense system.
Israeli fighter jets destroyed high-rises, civilian houses as well as infrastructure including roads and main streets in Gaza.
The UN’s humanitarian office (OCHA) said that more than 1,000 residential and commercial units, 56 centers of learning and six hospitals were hit by Israeli strikes and that 800,000 people in the Strip had problems accessing clean water.