RAMALLAH (AFP) -- A top UN official warned Thursday of another potential conflict in the Gaza Strip, urging Israel to lift its blockade and Palestinian political parties to end in-fighting to avoid further violence.
The United Nations also called for an additional $705 million in humanitarian aid to the Palestinian territories, most of it for Gaza which saw its bloodiest and most destructive war last year.
"Right now, things are not going well, and we're very concerned about the possibility of a further conflict," James Rawley, UN humanitarian chief for the Palestinian territories, told AFP.
"But it's not inevitable... as long as several things happen.
"To have a complete recovery of Gaza, even to go back to where we were in July (before the 50-day conflict) requires more than construction material going in. It requires a lifting of the blockade," said Rawley.
"In parallel, we have to see a commitment from the militant groups in Gaza to stop firing rockets at civilians in Israel... and Palestinian reconciliation moving forward" to reassure donors that building materials were not falling into the hands of militants, he added.
Rawley called for a "reconstruction hudna (truce) for three to five years" to allow rehabilitation of the increasingly unstable coastal enclave. more