Israel Allows More Construction Materials into Gaza, Exports Still at Zero

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While Gaza needs 670,000 truckloads of construction material, an average of 715 enter per month

PNN – Palestine News Network – 22.11.11 – 23:01

PNN -On Tuesday, Israeli forces opened the Karem Abu Salem crossing in the southern Gaza Strip, admitting nearly 300 trucks loaded with aid and supplies for the industrial, agricultural, and transportation sectors.  


Construction materials are in short supply in the Gaza Strip after Israel banned them for four years, fearing Hamas would use them to build military bunkers (Lo Yuk Fai, PNN).
Palestinian liaison official Ra’ed Fattouh said that 12 trucks loaded with cement and other construction materials, as well as another 53 trucks full of gravel entered Gaza through the crossing. He said a limited amount of cooking gas would be pumped in as well.
The crossing was open from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m,  in which 298 trucks were admitted to Gaza: 11 of them carried aid supplies, 183 were designated for the industrial sector, 40 of them carried livestock feed, nine were designated for the agricultural sector, and five for transportation carrying 20 new vehicles.  Twenty-two trucks loaded with gravel provided materials for 10 factories ruined in the last war on Gaza and 18 trucks full of cement and iron were provided for construction.
In addition, 50 trucks entered with supplies for UNRWA projects and over 175,000 kilograms (about 192 tons) of cooking gas were pumped to Gaza.
The amount of cooking gas pumped into Gaza, according to Oxfam’s weekly report on Gaza from November 6 – 12, was as high as 330 tons two weeks ago and 637 the week before that. All three figures represent less than a quarter of the 1,750 tons of cooking gas needed per week to avoid a humanitarian crisis in the blockaded territory.
No exports have left the Karem Abu Salem crossing since May 13, 2011, when a small truckload of flowers was allowed out on its way to the Netherlands. Oxfam says the export shortage means the Gazan economy “remains heavily dependent on local demand, which is in turn constrained by the low purchasing power of the population.”
Recent numbers from the Institute for Middle East Understanding (IMEU) suggest the unemployment rate in Gaza is as high as 45%, with those out of work unlikely to purchase part of the new influx of goods.
“Until crossings are fully open for export,” the Oxfam report concluded, “the impact of the easing of the blockade on unemployment, poverty and food insecurity rates remains limited.”

Source and more at the PNN – Palestine News Network

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