Gaza's closed borders block reconstruction
Mohammed Samuni and his fellow Gazans can do little more than pick apart the rubble a week after the end of Israel's war on Gaza, with major reconstruction efforts blocked because of closed borders.
"At night we split up and each of us goes to sleep in a different house of relatives in Gaza," Samuni says as he uses rugs to build a make-shift tent on the ruins of his house in the war-ravaged Zeitun neighbourhood of Gaza City.
"Then in the morning we come and sit here," says the 33-year-old. "It's the only thing we can do is sit here and wait."
Israel's 22-day war on Gaza's Hamas rulers has left widespread destruction in the impoverished territory that has reeled from a blockade ever since the Islamists, pledged to the destruction of the Jewish state, seized power in June 2007.
Samuni's neighbourhood in Gaza City was among the areas that bore the brunt of the assault. Seven days after Israel and Hamas declared mutual ceasefires, huge heaps of rubble line the dirt road.
The metal shops, garages and chicken farm at the beginning of the street have all been destroyed by Israeli strikes. Children pick up Koran pages through the stones of the destroyed Tawheed mosque.
Members of the extended Samuni clan, one of the area's largest, mourn relatives and friends killed in the bombings and wait for aid promised by Hamas, the rival Palestinian leadership in the West Bank, and by international organisations.
"We had 22 martyrs here," says Fares Samuni, 68, who lost his wife.
"Since then I sleep in the street," he says. "People come here to take our names, but I don't know who they are. They all say they want to give us things, but we haven't received anything."
In order to rebuild from the war that Palestinian officials estimate caused 1.9 billion dollars (1.4 billion euros) worth of damage to Gaza's already beleaguered economy and infrastructure, construction materials must be allowed through the territory's crossings.