Report: Israel to Allow Cement Imports Into Gaza Again

YERUSHALAYIM -
Gaza City seen in the background near the border fence between Israel and Gaza (foreground). Photo by Miriam Alster/FLASH90
Gaza City seen in the background near the border fence between Israel and Gaza. (foreground). (Miriam Alster/Flash90)

Israel is planning to once again allow the import of cement into Gaza, reports in the Arab media said Sunday. Cement imports were halted a month ago, after revelations by the IDF that it had discovered a tunnel built after Operation Protective Edge from Gaza into Israel. The reason Israel is reversing course, the report said, is the fear that a lack of cement will lead to unrest.

According to the report, the lack of cement led to the layoffs of some 40,000 construction workers in Gaza. Upset contractors have been pledging to send their workers to participate in anti-Israel activities if the cement flow is not renewed.

Last month, the IDF announced that it had discovered a tunnel, apparently dug by Hamas, that crossed under the Gaza fence into Israel territory. The tunnel was discovered via a combination of intelligence information and technological means. According to the statement, the tunnel was a new one, having been dug since the conclusion of Operation Protective Edge in 2014.

In a separate report, Gaza media said that the IDF would allow Gaza farmers to harvest crops close to the Gaza border fence, for the first time since Protective Edge. The permits are to be given for a limited period, the report said. The work will be coordinated by the International Red Cross, which will organize groups of workers and alert the IDF that they are present, in order to avoid any misunderstandings, the report added.