Construction materials were allowed into the Gaza Strip on Tuesday, two days after an international conference concluded with pledges of financial support to rebuild the war-battered Palestinian enclave, Palestinian officials have said.
"Trucks carrying construction materials have begun to enter the Gaza Strip," Mounir al-Ghalban of Gaza's border authority told Anadolu Agency.
He said that 15 trucks carrying cement, ten carrying steel, and 50 carrying gravel were due to enter Gaza on Tuesday.
Israeli army spokesman Peter Lerner said on Twitter earlier that Israel, along with the U.N. and the Palestinian Authority, had begun the transfer of building materials into Gaza.
Donors attending Sunday's conference in Cairo pledged some $5.4 billion to the Palestinians, half of which will go towards the reconstruction of the Gaza Strip.
During a recent 51-day onslaught, the Israeli army damaged 15,671 housing units across the coastal territory, including 2,276 that were totally destroyed, according to official Palestinian figures.
More than 2,160 Gazans, meanwhile, mostly civilians, were killed – and 11,000 injured – during seven weeks of unrelenting Israeli attacks in July and August.
The Israeli offensive came to an end on August 26 with the announcement of an indefinite cease-fire arrangement.
The truce deal, brokered by Egypt, calls for reopening Gaza's border crossings with Israel – which, if implemented, would effectively end the latter's seven-year blockade of the territory – and expanding the area open to Palestinian fisherman.
According to the agreement's terms, Palestinian and Israeli negotiators will resume indirect talks on other core Palestinian demands – including the release of prisoners and the establishment of a Gaza seaport – later this month.
Israel has barred the entry of building materials into Gaza for years on grounds that Palestinian resistance faction Hamas could use them to build underground tunnels or fortifications.
For years, the Gaza Strip has depended on construction materials smuggled into the territory through a network of tunnels linking it to Egypt's Sinai Peninsula.
A recent crackdown on the tunnels by the Egyptian army, however, has effectively neutralized hundreds of tunnels, severely affecting Gaza's construction sector.
In September of last year, Israel allowed the entry of construction materials into the besieged coastal enclave for the first time in six years.
The following month, however, Israeli authorities suspended deliveries after finding an underground tunnel extending from the Gaza Strip into Israel.
AAGüncelleme Tarihi: 14 Ekim 2014, 23:54