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Hamas: Israeli announcement of Gaza tunnel pretext to tighten siege

February 11, 2014 at 12:18 pm

The spokesperson of the Palestinian Islamist Movement Hamas, Sami Abu-Zuhri, has accused the Israeli occupation of using any pretext to tighten the siege on the Gaza Strip. Abu-Zuhri was commenting on the Israeli occupation’s announced revelation of a tunnel between the Gaza Strip and Israel on Sunday.

In a press release, Abu-Zuhri explained that the announcement aims to exaggerate a nonissue simply because the Israeli occupation wants to find a reason to tighten the already strict siege on Gaza.

The Israeli occupation announced early on Sunday that it had discovered a “terrorist tunnel” at the border of the Gaza Strip starting from the city of Abbasan in Gaza and ending 300 metres inside Israel. They said its exit is located in an unpopulated area.

Israeli Defence Minister Moshe Ya’alon stood beside the tunnel exit on the Israeli side to publicly announce that construction materials will again be prevented from entering into the Gaza Strip.

Three weeks ago, the Israeli government had allowed 70 truckloads of construction materials to enter into the Strip. It had said that this was a step towards easing the siege after the Egyptian side closed the Rafah Crossing.

However, Gaza needs up to 400 truckloads of gravel, 200 of cement and 100 of steel every day to continue rebuilding the thousands of residential buildings that were destroyed by the Israeli occupation during the two military offensives in 2008/9 and 2012.

Some 30 thousand families are still internally displaced inside the Gaza Strip after their houses were destroyed during the two military assaults, and no new alternatives have been built yet because of the severe shortage in construction materials.