Egyptian diplomatic sources have revealed that Israel filed a complaint to the government in Cairo after it allowed cement to enter the Gaza Strip without Israeli consent, Quds Press reported on Friday. The cement entered the besieged territory via the Rafah Crossing. It had been bought by Palestinian-owned companies based in Ramallah and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas called on Egypt to allow it into Gaza.
According to an Israeli website close to the intelligence services, there is a lot of anger at the decision. It contradicts the aim of security cooperation with the PA, claim the Israelis, as well as an agreement with the UN, which monitors how the cement is used in Gaza.
The Israeli security services decided more than two weeks ago to block all cement for the private sector from entering the coastal enclave. They claim that it is used by the Palestinian resistance groups to construct tunnels under the border with Israel.
Thousands of the homes destroyed by Israel in successive military offensives since 2007 have not been rebuilt or repaired. The Israelis control a strict blockade of the Gaza Strip, allowing only the bare minimum of goods to enter.