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Palestinian man Majid Athamneh ,60, in the border area of Abed Rabo neighborhood of Jabalya waters his fruit tree samplings that he planted in front of his new mud house December 20,2009. Thousands of Palestinians became homeless by last winter's Gaza war and the Athamneh family were the first to receive a U.N.-funded mud brick home Saturday, with U.N. aid officials saying they're reverting to ancient building techniques because Israel won't allow concrete and other construction materials into blockaded Gaza. The U.N. hopes to build around 120 mud brick homes for dozens of Gaza families in the next few months, said John Ging, head of the U.N. Relief and Works Agency in Gaza. Each house costs about $10,000 and takes three months to build. Thousands of Gazans were made homeless during Israel's three-week military assault on the Hamas-ruled territory a year ago. The offensive, which also killed hundreds of Palestinians, was meant to punish Gaza's Hamas rulers and put a halt to years of rocket fire from the territory on Israeli border towns. Gazans have been unable to rebuild because Israel and Egypt continue to enforce a border blockade first imposed in June 2007 after Hamas overran the territory. Photo by Wissam Nassar