Dozens of masked gunmen vandalize UN summer camp set up for Gaza children

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Masked men vandalize UN summer camp for Gaza kids

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip — The top U.N. aid official in Gaza says dozens of masked gunmen have vandalized a U.N. summer camp being set up for children and teens on Gaza’s Mediterranean coast.

John Ging says the assailants tied up the guard early Sunday, burned tents and vandalized bathrooms. U.N. officials say the attackers left behind three bullets and a note threatening to kill Ging and others unless the U.N. cancels its activities for some 250,000 Gaza children.

U.N. summer camps offer arts, sports and other activities.

There was no claim of responsibility for the attack, though the likely suspects are Islamic extremists who oppose the U.N. camps as un-Islamic.

Gaza’s Hamas rulers have set up rival camps. Some Hamas leaders have also railed against U.N. camps.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP’s earlier story is below.

RAMALLAH, West Bank (AP) — A U.N. agency says about three-quarters of the damage inflicted by Israel’s war on Gaza more than a year ago has not been repaired or rebuilt.

Israel continues to bar construction material from entering Hamas-ruled Gaza as part of an overall blockade of the territory.

The U.N. Development Program said in a report Sunday that Gazans have carried out small-scale repairs worth $173 million with recycled rubble or material smuggled through border tunnels.

The report says the international community has been largely sidelined in the reconstruction effort. The U.N. can do little because it refrains from buying smuggled goods.

Israel says it bans construction material to prevent it from being used by Hamas for military purposes.

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