Gaza, ALRAY - An Israeli army official said on Tuesday plans to allow building materials meant for private projects into the Gaza Strip for the first time in six years, Rueters reported.
Gaza has been struggling with a shortage of building materials which has worsened since July, when the Egyptian military began a sweeping crackdown on tunnels used to smuggle goods and weapons from Egypt into the neighbouring Palestinian enclave.
The official said that 350 trucks of cement, steel and concrete will cross into Gaza weekly and will deliver the materials to private hands for the first time since 2007.
Gaza has been under life-sapping blockade since 2006 when Hamas won the 2006 legislative elections and refused to recognize the legitimacy of the Israeli occupation in of Palestine, a prerequisite for the Quatret for the diplomatic recognition of any Palestinian government.
Israeli occupation controls, Karam Abu Salem crossing, the only commercial border crossing with Gaza, through which basic needs of the population enter in a very limited way.
While most of the Gaza-Egypt tunnels, the key access way for most of the Gaza Strip's needs of building materials, fuel, and other goods and products, have been demolished under the new Egypt, which witnessed on July, 3rd the removing of Egyptian President-elect Mohammed Morsi.
Gaza economist Maher Al-Tabba said the Israeli move was not enough to end the shortages. "The quantities of steel and cement to be allowed is a good start but it will not meet the needs. Gaza Strip needs double these quantities," he said.
The Israeli army source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said that Israel's decision followed a request by Abbas.