The Israeli military offensive against the Gaza Strip from 27 December 2008 to 18 January 2009, was the most violent and deadly offensive by Israel since the second Intifada began. According to the UN, 1,434 Palestinian residents of Gaza were killed by the Israeli forces, and over 5,000 were injured.
Thousands of homes and businesses were destroyed, and the Gazan economy remains in ruins. Israel has been controlling and limiting the amounts of international aid that are allowed into the Gaza Strip, and has thus caused a mounting humanitarian crisis in Gaza, including an acute shortage in clean drinking water, food, medical supplies, power, construction and repair materials, and sanitation.
The continuing siege on Gaza has prevented the clearing of dangerous rubble, the restoration of water and sewage systems to normal working order, and the rebuilding of damaged and destroyed houses. The Gaza Strip has become the world’s most aid-dependent region in the world, with over 90% of the population relying on aid shipments of some sort.