Hamas Stealing 95 Percent of Cement Coming to Gaza

YERUSHALAYIM -
A Palestinian truck loaded with bags of cement enters  the southern Gaza Strip from Israel through the Kerem Shalom crossing in Rafah, on Monday. (Abed Rahim Khatib/Flash90)
A Palestinian truck loaded with bags of cement enters the southern Gaza Strip from Israel through the Kerem Shalom crossing in Rafah, on Monday. (Abed Rahim Khatib/Flash90)

While the Palestinians blame Israel for the economic plight of Gaza, Hamas has been stealing 95 percent of the cement trucked into the region for home reconstruction and using it for military purposes, Foreign Ministry Director-General Dore Gold said on Tuesday.

“From our own investigations we found that out of every 100 sacks of cement that come into the Gaza Strip [from Israel], only five or six are transferred to civilians,” Gold told the UN World Humanitarian Summit in Istanbul.

“A hundred sacks is what is necessary to rebuild a home, the rest are confiscated by Hamas and used for military purposes,” he stated.

The Gaza-based terrorist organization is “cynically exploiting” Israel’s help so that it can “rebuild its military capacity,” Gold told summit attendees.

This puts Israel in a difficult situation, because the humanitarian assistance it provides for Gaza civilians also helps Hamas conduct terror attacks against it, Gold said.

“Israel firmly believes in the importance of humanitarian relief toward our neighbors, even those with whom we were at war,” Gold said.

In that context, he also spoke of the thousands of wounded Syrians it has treated. It has placed a field hospital on the Golan Heights and has treated Syrians in its northern hospitals, he said. Similarly the hospitals in the south have treated people from Gaza, including close relatives of Hamas members, Gold said.