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Israel allows 1,000 tonnes of cement for Gaza reconstruction

By AFP - Mar 19,2015 - Last updated at Mar 19,2015

Gaza City — Israeli authorities allowed 1,000 tonnes of cement paid for by Qatar to enter the devastated Gaza Strip on Thursday, officials said, in the first serious step towards rebuilding the territory.

A 50-day war last summer between Israel and Islamist movement Hamas, which controls the Palestinian territory, decimated entire neighbourhoods across Gaza and left 100,000 people homeless.

The international community has warned that without serious and immediate reconstruction efforts, another conflict is just around the corner.

"Today 1,000 tonnes of cement paid for by Qatar entered the Gaza Strip for a project included in the scope of the reconstruction mechanism," Israel's coordinating body for government policy in the Palestinian territories (COGAT) said in a statement.

"There are no fixed quantities [going in] on a daily basis. The quantities [delivered] are at the request of the Palestinian Authority in accordance with the needs of suppliers who are purchasing in Gaza," it said.

Palestinian officials confirmed the entry of cement, which they said 175 trucks brought in through the Kerem Shalom goods crossing in southern Gaza.

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