Gaza City, 6 Rabi’ul Awwal 1436/28 December 2014 (MINA) – Palestinian faction Hamas said Saturday that Israel will “pay the price” for obstructing the reconstruction of the Gaza Strip following its recent military offensive on the blockaded territory.
“The continuation of the blockade, coupled with the closure of the border crossings and the delay of reconstruction will push the Gaza Strip to explosion for which Israel will pay the price,” Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum said in a Saturday statement.
Barhoum called on all concerned parties to “compel Israel to lift the blockade and expedite the reconstruction of the Gaza Strip,” Middle East Monitor (MEMO) quoted by Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA) as reporting, Sunday.
In October, Israel allowed the entry of a limited amount of building supplies into the Gaza Strip – after a blockade that lasted seven years – as per an agreement between Israel, the UN and the Palestinian Authority.
The slow pace of reconstruction, however, has invited the ire of several Palestinian factions and civil society organizations.
During Israel’s recent 51-day onslaught, 15,671 housing units were damaged across the coastal enclave, including 2,276 that were totally destroyed, according to official Palestinian figures.
More than 2,160 Gazans, mostly civilians, were killed – and another 11,000 injured – during seven weeks of unrelenting Israeli attacks throughout July and August.
The Israeli offensive finally ended on August 26 with the announcement of an indefinite cease-fire with Palestinian resistance factions.
Following the cease-fire, Robert Serry, the UN special coordinator for the Middle East peace process, unveiled plans to impose strict oversight on the use of construction materials in Gaza.
At an October 12 donor conference in Cairo, 50 countries pledged a total of $5.4 billion to the Palestinian government, half of which was earmarked for reconstruction of the devastated Gaza Strip. (T/P3/R01)
Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA)