World Bulletin/News Desk
Palestinian resistance movement Hamas has warned that the Gaza Strip was "running out of patience" with Israel's ongoing blockade of the Palestinian territory.
"The international community must intervene to commit Israel to lifting the siege and begin rebuilding Gaza before the latter runs out of patience," Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said in a Tuesday statement.
Abu Zuhri denounced what he described as "blackmail" by Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon, who recently said reconstruction of the war-battered strip would be halted if Hamas began repairing cross-border tunnels destroyed during Israel's recent military onslaught.
Abu Zuhri went on to assert that an August 26 cease-fire deal between Israel and Palestinian factions "has nothing to do with the arms of the resistance."
"Ya'alon's provocative statements show how Israel is dragging its feet vis-à-vis its earlier promises to lift the siege and allow Gaza to rebuild," Abu Zuhri said.
At an October 12 donor conference in Cairo, representatives from 50 countries pledged some $5.4 billion to the Palestinians, half of which was allocated for reconstruction of the devastated Gaza Strip.
During Israel's recent 51-day onslaught, 15,671 housing units were damaged across the coastal enclave, including 2,276 that were totally destroyed, according to official Palestinian figures.
More than 2,160 Gazans, meanwhile, mostly civilians, were killed – and some 11,000 injured – during seven weeks of unrelenting Israeli attacks through July and August.
The Israeli offensive finally ended on August 26 with the announcement of an indefinite cease-fire agreement.
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.
This, however, has yet to be implemented.
Since the cease-fire deal was signed almost two months ago, Israel has opened the Kerem Shalom border crossing (linking the Gaza Strip, Egypt and Israel) to limited commercial traffic.
Shortly after the donor conference in Cairo, which was attended by U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, Israel allowed 75 trucks of construction materials into the coastal strip.
Israel's six other crossings with Gaza, however, along with Gaza's Rafah border crossing with Egypt, have remained sealed for the most part.Last Mod: 21 Ekim 2014, 15:27