Israel resumes cement transfers to Gaza

May 22, 2016  

Israel imported cement into Gaza Sunday after a month and a half of hiatus om transfers into the Hamas stronghold. 

Construction and employment in Gaza allegedly had suffered due to the break, Walla! News reports.

Israel had stopped the imports due to Hamas’s building terror tunnels into Israel, and after the IDF unearthed a terror tunnel leading under the security border to facilitate attacks last month.

In the interim, Egypt had imported cement to Gaza, sparking outrage from the Israeli side. 

But despite a spate of rocket and mortar fire on Israeli civilians which has persisted since then, the transfer of materials through the Kerem Shalom crossing resumes, and further aid will be transferred on Monday. 

The change follows talks mediated between the UN and Israel, via the UN’s Middle East envoy, Nikolai Mladenov. 

“Palestinian officials removed terrorists from their positions along the border, and the other side understood that Israel is not playing games, and intentions to make sure the cement is used for reconstruction are very serious,” a defense official told Walla!.

“In a few weeks, UN inspectors will be standing on the Palestinian side of the Kerem Shalom crossing, and that should help.” 

Following Operation Protective Edge in 2014, Hamas focused its efforts on rebuilding its massive terror tunnel network into Israel, which the IDF largely destroyed during the summer war.

Its massive rocket arsenal rendered largely obsolete by Israel’s Iron Dome defense system, Hamas – along with other terrorist groups in Gaza – refocused its efforts strategically, noting how Israeli forces were sometimes caught off guard by the terror tunnels during the war.

The IDF exposed no fewer than two major terror tunnels last month. 

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