Photo: Amir Cohen
Cement shipment to Gaza (Archives)
Photo: Amir Cohen

Israel allows cement into Strip for first time since Gaza op

Government approves cement, iron, machinery shipments to Strip for first time since conclusion of Operation Cast Lead as part of blockade mitigations. Cabinet also green-lights monthly money transfers in favor of PA, UNRWA wages

The government had recently authorized a monthly transfer of NIS 104 million (roughly $27.33 million) to the Gaza Strip – half of which to be used to pay the Palestinian Authority's workers' wages and the other to pay UNRWA workers wages, Ynet learned Wednesday.


Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak have also authorized cement shipments to the Strip, for the first time since Operation Cast Lead.


The 310-ton shipment is meant to repair a flour mill and a sewage treatment plant and renovate the British Cemetery.


The government also approved a 60-ton iron shipment into Gaza, as well as entry of machinery needed for the renovation of the flour mill. Israel will deliver 65 tons of asphalt, 120 tons of cement and 25 tons of fuel oil for the sewage treatment plant project.


Japan will sponsor the delivery of steel pipes meant to restore the Khan Younis sewage treatment plant, in southern Gaza, to working order.


Netanyahu and Barak also approved special product deliveries into the Gaza Strip, ahead of the month of Ramadan.


Barak recently said that the mitigations of the Gaza blockade would continue according to recommendations made by IDF Chief of Staff Lieutenant-General Gabi Ashkenazi.


Sources in the Prime Minister's Office, however, said that the decision to allow cement shipments into Gaza was made by the Defense Ministry and not by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, adding that the decision was part of humanitarian mitigations and that the Gaza crossings will remain closed.


Attila Somfalvi contributed to this report 


פרסום ראשון: 07.29.09, 18:06
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