Israel Rejects Aid Groups Report on Gaza as One-Sided

YERUSHALAYIM (AP/Hamodia) -

Israel rejected on Monday a report from a coalition of international aid groups urging a lifting of its blockade of Gaza, branding it as “hostile and one-sided.”

Foreign Ministry spokesman Emmanuel Nahshon said “the report pretends to present the root causes of the conflict, ignoring totally and deliberately that the root cause of the conflict is the refusal of the Palestinian side to accept Israel’s right of existence and its legitimacy.”

Nahshon pointed out that Monday’s report ignored events leading up to the 2014 war, including the kidnapping and killing of three Israeli teens, Hy”d, and a spike in Hamas rocket fire on Israel.

The restrictions on civilian goods moving into and out of the Gaza Strip was significantly eased by Israel since the war last summer, but remains in place due to security considerations.

Much of the report focused on the slow pace of reconstruction. Donor countries pledged $3.5 billion six months ago for rebuilding thousands of homes and businesses destroyed in the war, but reconstruction has barely begun and conditions in the territory of 1.8 million people have only worsened, according to the report by the Association of International Development Agencies, signed by 46 aid groups.

In October, donor countries and international organizations pledged $3.5 billion for Gaza. So far, only $945 million, or 26.8 percent, has been released, the report said.

Israel is allowing cement to be brought in to Gaza for the repair of homes damaged in the war, but many homeowners cannot afford it, according to Monday’s report. It said not a single destroyed home has been rebuilt.