UN Brokers Agreement to Rebuild in Gaza Strip

September 17, 2014

Israeli and Palestinian officials have come to an agreement brokered by the United Nations to allow building materials into the Gaza Strip for reconstruction efforts, as reported by BBC News.

Robert Serry, special co-ordinator for the Middle East peace process, said the Palestinian Authority would play a lead role in the reconstruction effort.

He said it was a step towards the aim of lifting all restrictions on Gaza.

More than 100,000 people were left homeless by the recent 50-day conflict between Israel and militants in Gaza.

Mr. Serry announced that his office had brokered an agreement to enable large-scale reconstruction, involving the private sector in Gaza and giving a "lead role" to the Palestinian Authority, "while providing security assurances through UN monitoring that these materials will not be diverted from their entirely civilian purpose".

The Israeli government is worried that they might be used to rebuild tunnels under Gaza's frontier from which attacks have been launched.

Mr. Serry added that the UN stood ready to provide "increased technical assistance" to the Palestinian unity government, which was formed in June by the Fatah movement of PA President Mahmoud Abbas and Hamas, the militant Islamist group that dominates Gaza.

He later told reporters that the new temporary reconstruction mechanism in Gaza represented "an important step, which I hope will give hope to the people in Gaza, and an important step, we hope, towards the full lifting of remaining closures in Gaza".



Read the full article at BBC News.

Photo courtesy of Denny Cormier

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