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Monday, March 22, 2010

"Siege" news: Israel allows construction material into Gaza

From Al Arabiya:
The U.N. agency for Palestinian refugees hopes that a housing project in the Gaza Strip approved by Israel can unlock reconstruction efforts in the Hamas-run territory.

The new apartments will house 150 families and could prove to Israeli authorities that the United Nations can undertake such projects without construction materials falling into the hands of Hamas and other armed groups.

"We have estimated very accurately all the quantities because we do not want to be accused by the Israelis of exaggerating," said Munir Manneh, head of construction in Gaza for the U.N. Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA).

"We will give an excellent example and prove that we will control the process 100 percent," he said, adding that all materials would be clearly documented from the moment they enter the territory.

Israel has said that if a mechanism could be found to bypass Hamas then more materials could be allowed in.

"If there could be a greater level of confidence that Hamas would not be siphoning off materials for its own military machine that would make things obviously much easier," government spokesman Mark Regev said.
YNet adds that the UNRWA project also includes a mill, an UNRWA school and sewage infrastructure.

But haven't we been told for years that Israel is only interested in collective punishment of Gazans and that the fears about Hamas using building materials were a Zionist sham?

The stories that contradict the "Gaza siege" and "collective punishment" memes get very little coverage in the mainstream media.

For example, did you know that flower exports from Gaza have now been going on regularly for three months?