More than two months after a fierce 12-day war between Palestinians and Israel, 2 million Palestinians in the small coastal Gaza Strip are still suffering from the repercussions of the violence.

Iran PressMiddle East: Severe restrictions imposed by Israel since then, including deepening the siege imposed in Gaza since mid-2007, have caused hardship for residents in the occupied territory, despite the end of violent clashes in May.

Egypt, which has acted as a mediator in the conflict, succeeded in putting an end to the killings and destruction by reaching a cease-fire agreement.

However, Cairo’s efforts have not yet been successful in restoring the situation in Gaza to what it was before the outbreak of the war.

Israel has attributed its continued siege and ban on reconstruction in Gaza.

Through these restrictions, Israel is pressuring Hamas to release four Israelis, including two soldiers who were captured during the 2014 war and whose fates are unknown.

Hamas insists on releasing them within the framework of a prisoner exchange agreement similar to the 2011 Shalit deal, through which hundreds of Palestinian prisoners were released from Israeli prisons.

Officials in Gaza said that the strict Israeli restrictions are resulting in “negative effects on all aspects of life,” and have led to an “unprecedented rise in poverty and unemployment rates.”

During the past few weeks, Israel gradually allowed an increase in imported items to the Gaza Strip, but the most important materials still forbidden are construction supplies.

This prevents the start of a reconstruction process and the resumption of infrastructure projects funded by international groups.

Rami Abu Al-Rish, an official for the Palestinian Ministry of Economy, said that the industrial, commercial, and agricultural sectors in Gaza are “paralyzed.”

This is reflected in the lives of Gazans, with the unemployment rate rising to 75 percent amid surging poverty, said Abu Al-Rish.

“Thousands of workers in various sectors lost their livelihoods, whether due to the destruction of commercial and industrial facilities, or the suspension of production due to the blockade and restrictions,” he told Arab News

Abu Al-Rish said that “the horizon is blocked” and the situation in Gaza was “getting worse day by day.”

There is “no indication of a breakthrough soon,” especially for reconstruction and repair, he added.

Israel is also preventing funds from a $30 million Qatari grant from entering the territory.

The monthly fund is intended for poor families and temporary employment and normally arrived in Gaza accompanied by Qatari Ambassador Mohammed Al-Emadi of the Qatari Reconstruction Committee.

The Gaza Municipality has complained about the continued suspension of work on infrastructure projects.

A member of the Municipal Council, Hisham Skaik, said that 13 infrastructure projects were halted after the outbreak of the war, as Israel prevented the entry of building materials and materials for completing infrastructure projects.

The tightening of restrictions at the Egypt-Gaza commercial crossing has also caused delays for about 16 other infrastructure projects.

The projects were fully funded about two years ago, and all the relevant contracts have been signed, Skaik said, but work cannot begin.

He added that the municipality did not receive funding to repair the recent damage to infrastructure as a result of the war, which has been estimated at $20 million.

The war on the Gaza Strip lasted for 12 days, leaving 243 Palestinians dead, thousands of housing units destroyed, and infrastructure in rubble, with total losses of $479 million in damage.

Hamas warned through its spokesman Abdel-Latif Al-Qanou that “more restrictions and tightening on Gaza will only generate an explosion in the face of the occupation.”