Building material earmarked for a limited number of United Nations projects and storm renovation in the private sector can enter Gaza, Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon (Likud) ruled on Sunday.
Israel banned building material from Gaza in October after it discovered a 1.7 km.-long attack tunnel stretching from Khan Yunis into Israel. Hamas had built the tunnel with Israeli cement mean for private sector building in Gaza.
Sunday’s decision to allow 1,000 tons of cement to be trucked from Israel into Gaza marks the second time the ban has been briefly relaxed. In December, Israel approved the entry of cement and iron into Gaza for a number of UN projects.
Ya’alon directed the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories Maj.-Gen. Eitan Dangot to inform the UN and the Palestinian Authority of the transfer of material.
The Israeli Legal Center for Freedom and Movement (GISHA) said Israel’s October ban on building material, coupled with Egypt’s crackdown on the smuggling tunnels by Rafah, caused a loss of 20,000 jobs in Gaza.
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