Israel Partly Lifts Gaza Blockade
Allows materials for U.N.-approved construction
Only one day after several United Nations agencies and aid groups banded together to request that Israel at least partially lift its blockade of Gaza, Israel is doing just that. For the first time since its military incursion there in January, Israel’s government approved the transfer of construction materials, including metal pipes and cement (substances about which Israel is touchy, as they can be used to manufacture rockets and bunkers, respectively), into the Hamas-controlled area—but only for use on specific, U.N.-approved projects, including Gaza’s largest flour mill, a sewage treatment plant, and a British cemetery. The government also signed off on the equivalent of over $27 million in monthly transfers to the territory. Neither the money nor the materials are supposed to come under Hamas’s control.