World Bulletin/News Desk
A senior member of Palestinian resistance movement Hamas stated that the group had not approved of a U.N. plan regulating the flow of construction material into the Gaza Strip.
"The [Gaza reconstruction] plan of Robert Serry, the UN special coordinator for the Middle East peace process, was never presented to Hamas and was not approved by any official in the movement," said leading Hamas member Mousa Abu Marzouq in a Facebook statement.
"We will work with the various political and social forces in Gaza to amend the mistakes the plan contains," Abu Marzouq added.
According to the senior Hamas figure, among the "mistakes" in Serry's plan is the fact that it takes into consideration Israel's objections as to who the beneficiaries of reconstruction should be and as to the amount of building supplies earmarked for Gazans whose homes were damaged or destroyed.
"Israel has also objected to construction activity in certain areas and imposed restrictions that will hinder building efforts," he added.
Abu Marzouq stressed that Hamas, during indirect talks in Cairo this summer, had objected to proposals that the U.N. manage Gaza's reconstruction process, noting that all Palestinian factions had insisted that the reconstruction was the exclusive responsibility of the Palestinian national unity government.
"Hamas handed administration of the Gaza Strip over to the national unity government, which has dragged its feet in assuming the responsibility," Abu Marzouq said, adding that Hamas was "not an acceptable party" to certain international actors, "including the U.S. and the Zionist regime."
The senior Hamas member also noted that, during indirect talks, Hamas had "insisted that Israel lifts the siege off Gaza and open the border crossings to facilitate the transportation of reconstruction supplies."
Serry announced last September that the U.N. had brokered a deal between Israel and the Palestinian Authority permitting the entry of building materials into Gaza.
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 on the strip, 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.
Serry's plan includes imposing strict oversight on the use of construction materials to ensure they are not used for purposes other than construction, due to Israeli fears that supplies would be used by Hamas to build tunnels.
According to Israeli and Western diplomatic sources, the plan also calls for deploying hundreds of international observers to monitor the construction process.
Last month, Israel allowed the entry of two shipments of building materials to Gaza through the southern Kerem Shalom crossing, which included 101 truckloads of cement, steel and gravel.
In line with Serry's plan, the Palestinian Ministry of Public Works and Housing began distributing cement last Thursday for fixing homes that were partially damaged during the Israeli onslaught.
Last Mod: 03 Kasım 2014, 13:24