US/World News

Israel allows 1,000 tons of cement into Gaza for rebuilding effort

( Israeli authorities have allowed a shipment of 1,000 tons of cement into Gaza as part of initial efforts to rebuild the territory following last summer’s war there. The shipment of cement was paid for by Qatar. Israel allowed the shipment despite the fact that Hamas has in the past used cement and other building materials to construct tunnels underneath the border with Israel in order to launch attacks. Efforts to rebuild Gaza have been slow following last summer’s war there, with some blaming the ongoing standoff between Palestinian rival factions – Hamas and the Fatah-controlled Palestinian Authority – for hampering reconstruction. Many Arab countries, preoccupied with other domestic and regional concerns, have been slow to help Gaza. Last week, Israeli authorities allowed a limited amount of produce to be exported by Gaza to Israel for the first time in nearly a decade.

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