Israel blocks entry of cement into Gaza

Israeli authorities halt entry of cement supplies into Gaza

Photo by: Reuters (Archive)
Photo by: Reuters (Archive)

Bags of cement are seen at a depot. October 25, 2013.

Israel on Sunday limited cement deliveries to the occupied Gaza Strip without providing reasoning on the move, Palestinian liaison official Raed Fattouh said.

Fattouh, head of the Palestinian commission to coordinate the entry of necessities and goods into the Gaza Strip, said Israeli authorities had “officially and completely” halted cement consignments to Gaza.

"The Israeli authorities informed us of their decision to stop all cement deliveries to Gaza as of Sunday, without providing any reason for the move," he said.

The official noted that the decision did not apply to a small quantity of cement being supplied to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) for constructions intended on serving Palestinian Refugees.

Israeli authorities had not immediately commented on the move.

Gaza’s Economy Ministry, denounced the decision, warning of the moves likely repercussions of conflict on the war-battered district, which hasn’t yet recovered from a devastating 2014 Israeli military onslaught on civilians.

The amount of cement currently entering Gaza via the Kerem Shalom border crossing -- which links Egypt, Israel and the Gaza Strip -- had failed to meet the minimum requirements of the strip’s 1.9 million inhabitants, the ministry added.

Since Hamas took governance of the strip in 2007, Israeli authorities have tightly restricted the import of goods into the territory, leading to a severe shortage of daily needs, cement and other building materials.

The ministry appealed to the United Nations and other international institutions for an intervention into the besiegement.

Under the terms of a cease-fire agreement that ended the 2014 conflict, all building materials that enter the strip must only be used for the construction of civilian infrastructure.

During the 2014 onslaught, Israel waged a 51 day bombardment against Palestinian civilians, where more than 2,150 -- including women and children -- were killed in air strikes.

Hamas, one of two major political parties in Palestine was elected in a fair and free election in 2006 but the illegal occupation of Palestinian territories had limited its administration to only the Gaza Strip.

A Palestinian worker is seen with cement bags at the Gaza Strip Kerem Shalom border September 22, 2013.


TRTWorld and agencies