GAZA  - Gaza will no longer be “liveable” by 2020 unless urgent action is taken to improve water supply, power, health, and schooling, the UN’s most comprehensive report said. “Action needs to be taken now if Gaza is to be a liveable place in 2020 and it is already difficult now,” UN humanitarian coordinator Maxwell Gaylard said.  Gaza’s population of 1.6 million is set to rise by 500,000 over the next eight years, say the authors of the UN’s most wide-ranging report on the territory.

Gaza has one the youngest populations in the world, with 51 percent of people under the age of 18. “Action needs to be taken right now on fundamental aspects of life: water sanitation, electricity, education, health and other aspects,” Gaylard said. Since 2007, Gaza has been under the control of the Islamist Hamas organization, an armed political movement which rejects permanent peace with Israel. They fought a three-week war in January 2009, and Israel is resisting international pressure to lift its blockade, which it says prevents arms reaching Hamas. Gaza has no airport and no sea port. The border is tense, with frequent clashes over rocket or mortar fire from Gaza and air strikes by Israel. Gaza rockets hit Israeli land on Sunday, damaging a factory in the town of Sderot, east of the enclave.