Israel resumes supplying building materials to two Gaza projects

08:51, June 07, 2010      

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Israel on Sunday reopened commercial crossing points with Gaza after weekend's brief closure, allowing construction materials into Gaza for two projects carried out by international organizations, a Palestinian official said.

From 95 to 105 truckloads are scheduled to enter Gaza today through Kerem Shalom crossing in southeast Gaza Strip, said Ra'ed Fattouh, a liaison official.

The majority of the trucks carry food and fruits. Cement, iron and gravel will also be entering to go for a major housing project the United Nations is building in Khan Younis city and for the rebuilding of Al-Quds hospital which was badly damaged during Israel's war here last year.

In March, the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon visited the location of the housing project and called on Israel to let materials in to resume the project after three years of suspension. As for the hospital, which is run by the Palestinian Red Crescent Society (PRC)'s hospital, France, which funds the reconstruction, pressed Israel to allow the materials for the hospital.

Israel has barred raw materials as part of its blockade since June 2007 in a bid to weaken Islamic Hamas movement which took over Gaza that year.

The shipments to the two projects, that began arriving last month, were the biggest amounts to be delivered since the end of Israel's Operation Cast Lead in January 2009. Tens of thousands of houses, factories, workshops and governmental buildings were destroyed or damaged in the three-week offensive.

In an interview with Xinhua last week, an official from the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) said that 50,000 people from the refugees that the UNRWA sponsors became homeless and the agency still unable to repair their houses or rebuild the destroyed ones due to the lack of construction materials.

Source: Xinhua
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