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March 25, 2016 6:09 pm

Despite Hamas Appropriation for Terrorist Purposes, Israel, UN and PA Restore Full Quantity of Construction Materials Entering Gaza

avatar by Ruthie Blum

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Trucks delivering material and humanitarian goods into Gaza from Israel. Photo: Wikipedia.

Trucks delivering construction material into Gaza from Israel. Photo: Wikipedia.

The amount of construction materials transferred into Gaza will be restored to its original scope, due to a decision reached by Israel, the United Nations and the Palestinian Authority, the Hebrew news site Walla reported on Thursday.

According to the report, during a recent meeting between the head of the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT), UN representatives and PA Minister of Public Works Mufeed al-Hasayneh, the sides committed to enhance the monitoring of and enforcement surrounding the quantity and use of the building materials entering Gaza. This, they concluded, would enable the amount going into the Hamas-controlled Strip to gradually return to its previous level.

This came in the wake of last month’s decision to cut the amount of material entering Gaza in half, after reports emerged that much of it had been appropriated by Hamas for military (i.e. terrorist) aims, rather than for its original purpose, which was to rehabilitate Gaza after the damage incurred during Operation Protective Edge in the summer of 2014.

Over the past few months, there have been at least seven incidents of Hamas tunnel collapses, in which a number of operatives were killed. According to Walla, this sparked Palestinian media outlets to suggest this was partially due to the shortage of cement with which to produce concrete – which makes it harder to reinforce the tunnels while they are being dug.

During the three-way meeting with UN officials, it was revealed that locals charged with supervising the use of construction materials in Gaza are regularly subjected to threats by Hamas and other groups trying to get their hands on the materials.

COGAT told Walla that the mechanism for monitoring the entry of materials into Gaza is being reexamined. Supervision of the process will be enhanced, partly by PA Minister al-Hasayneh. At the same time, COGAT stated, the rehabilitation of Gaza is proceeding as planned, with more than 100,000 family homes damaged during the war — out of a total of 130,000 — in the final stages of renovation. In addition, according to COGAT, about 6,000 new homes have been built; 72 international projects completed; 332 in advanced stages; and more than 200 — in the fields of medicine, infrastructure, education, welfare and others — in the testing phase.

Hamas has expressed support for the surge in Palestinian terrorism that has rocked Israeli without let-up for the last six months. It has also issued threats to kidnap and kill Israelis through the tunnels it boasts rebuilding.

Israelis in communities bordering Gaza have complained about hearing noises under their homes, which they say sounds like digging and hammering. The IDF has said it investigates each such complaint, but so far has not found evidence of the tunnels reaching that far into Israel. Hamas has claimed, however, that Operation Protective Edge, which was launched to destroy its rocket and tunnel infrastructure, that it is restoring its military capabilities.

On Tuesday, as The Algemeiner reported, Hamas conducted massive military drills, purportedly to test its readiness for the next war with Israel.

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  • Robert Davis

    Why should the building materials be restored? Is that fool Netanyahu unable to say no? not only it’s foolish to concur but on top of that arabs will start to ask for more of this or that whereas ltting them wait for years to eventually say NO all the same will stop them asking for more. When an arab gets 1 he asks for 2 and when he gets 2 he ask for 4

  • dante

    justice (of which the un & the eu know nothing) would dictate that Israel deprive gaza of every dual use item unless there were complete and reliable system for inventory distribution verification installed. someone should be required to sign off for every bag of cement, from arrival to pouring). no verification, no cement.

  • With the new Iron Tunnel Dome that collapses tunnels, Israel should let them dig and then collapse them when Hamas are in them!!!

  • Dommy

    More suicidal behavior by Israel.

    Has there ever been a denser more self-destructive people?

  • Dave

    That was a confusing article. Is Israel restoring its shipments of building materials into Gaza knowing that Hamas will confiscate some to use them for tunnel building or is Israel trying to stop Hamas from appropriating materials?

  • Ephraim

    Well, the next savage attack must occur, it might as well happen sooner as later. Personally, I would prefer for it to occur after our jihadist-in-chief leaves office so Israel might have a chance at finally finishing the job, instead of looking at the next one in two or three years.

  • citizenstat

    Why the Israelis would go along with this is beyond me. The UN behavior regarding the Israel/Palestinian issue has from the get-go has been incompetent, indifferent, or anti-Israel. The PA is corrupt, incompetent and, with the exception their own lethal in-fighting, at one with Hamas in wanting Israel destroyed.

  • Joel

    Pure insanity! If you know they are going to use the construction materials to rebuild tunnels, the purpose of which is to kill Israeli’s, why give them any!