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Israel bars building materials from Gaza

The Israeli authorities have delayed indefinitely the entry of 60 truckloads of building materials into the Gaza Strip, a Palestinian official said.

“We were notified by the Palestinian National Company that Israel has indefinitely delayed the entry of the 60 trucks into the Gaza Strip,” Mounir al-Ghalban of Gaza’s border authority told our media sources.

The move came despite Israeli “promises” to allow the entry of the construction supplies into the blockaded enclave on Tuesday through Kerem Shalom crossing, he added.

During a recent 51-day onslaught, the Israeli army damaged 15,671 housing units across the Gaza Strip, including 2,276 that were totally destroyed, according to official Palestinian figures.

More than 2,150 Gazans, meanwhile, mostly civilians, were killed – and 11,000 injured – in unrelenting Israeli attacks.

The Israeli offensive came to an end on August 26 with the announcement of an indefinite cease-fire.

The truce deal, brokered by Egypt, calls for reopening Gaza’s border crossings with Israel – effectively ending the latter’s seven-year blockade of the coastal territory – and expanding the area open to Palestinian fisherman to six miles off the Gaza coast.

According to the agreement’s terms, Palestinian and Israeli negotiators will resume indirect talks on other core Palestinian demands – including the release of prisoners and the establishment of a Gaza seaport – later this month.

Israel routinely bars the entry of building materials into Gaza on grounds that Palestinian resistance faction Hamas could use them to build underground tunnels or fortifications.

For years, the Gaza Strip has depended on construction materials smuggled into the territory through a network of tunnels linking it to Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula.

A recent crackdown on the tunnels by the Egyptian army, however, has effectively neutralized hundreds of tunnels, severely affecting Gaza’s construction sector.

In September of last year, Israel allowed the entry of construction materials into the besieged coastal enclave for the first time in six years.

But the following month, Israeli authorities suspended deliveries after the discovery of an underground tunnel extending from the Gaza Strip into Israel.

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