Palestinian National Authority
Thirteen years after Israel withdrew its settlers and military from the Gaza Strip, this 140-square-mile narrow patch of land that is one 10th the size of the smallest U.S. state of Rhode Island, is on the verge of a total infrastructural and economic collapse.
The Gaza conflict is appearing to be at an end, but where does it leave Israel and Palestine? Where other ceasefires have failed could teach important lessons to avert a fourth conflict.
The snowstorms and torrential rain that battered the Middle East in mid-December threatened to make this Christmas season an especially difficult one for Christians in Gaza.
Matthew McGarry, Catholic Relief Services' country representative, described the situation as "quite bad."
"There is extensive damage to infrastructure, and we haven't been able to get our staff in until today," McGarry told Catholic News Service on Tuesday. "We are targeting the most vulnerable families."
Many schools remained closed because of structural damage, he added.