World Bulletin/News Desk
Israel would resume allowing the entry of building supplies into the devastated Gaza Strip on Sunday through the Kerem Shalom commercial border crossing, a Palestinian official said.
"The Israeli authorities will allow the entry of certain amounts of cement, steel, gravel and base course used for the reconstruction process in the Gaza Strip," Palestinian Civil Affairs Minister Hussein al-Sheikh told Anadolu Agency.
Last Thursday, Israel allowed 26 truckloads of building into the embattled enclave through the Kerem Shalom crossing.
The Palestinian government recently began distributing limited quantities of building supplies in the Gaza Strip in line with a UN-brokered deal between Israel and the West Bank-based Palestinian Authority.
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 another 11,000 injured – during seven weeks of unrelenting Israeli attacks throughout July and August.
The Israeli offensive finally ended on August 26 with the announcement of an indefinite cease-fire with Palestinian resistance factions.
Following the cease-fire, Robert Serry, the UN special coordinator for the Middle East peace process, unveiled plans to impose strict oversight on the use of construction materials in Gaza.
At an October 12 donor conference in Cairo, 50 countries pledged a total of $5.4 billion to the Palestinian government, half of which was earmarked for reconstruction of the devastated Gaza Strip.
Israel frequently voices fears that building supplies will be used by Palestinian factions to build tunnels and military fortifications.
According to Israeli and western diplomatic sources, the UN plan also calls for the deployment of international observers to monitor the reconstruction process.
The recent cease-fire also called for reopening the strip's border crossings with Israel – a term which, if implemented, would effectively end the self-proclaimed Jewish state's seven-year blockade of the coastal territory.Last Mod: 09 Kasım 2014, 10:57