ISMAILIA, Egypt - Islamist-led Egypt allowed building materials into Gaza via the Rafah crossing on Saturday for the first time since Hamas seized control of the Palestinian enclave in 2007, an Egyptian border official said.

It was part of a shipment of building materials donated by the Gulf Arab state of Qatar, which has pledged $400 million to finance reconstruction in Gaza. The Islamist group Hamas has run Gaza since driving out its rivals in the Palestinian Authority.

Israel tightened a blockade on the Gaza Strip after Hamas, which refuses to recognize the Jewish state, took power there.

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