Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Qatar cooperating with Israel on Gaza construction?

Somewhat contradictory messages. From Ammon News:
Qatar on Tuesday launched a $254 million plan to rebuild and modernize Gaza, the biggest injection of reconstruction aid for the Palestinian enclave since it was devastated in an Israeli military offensive nearly four years ago.

Projects announced at a news conference by Qatari ambassador Mohammed al-Amadi will require the cooperation of Israel and Egypt to admit building materials and heavy machinery to Gaza, which is under a partial blockade.

Amadi said this had been arranged. Work would begin on site within three months, starting with a highway that will run the length of the Mediterranean coastal strip.

But Ma'an says:
Material for reconstruction of the Gaza Strip is to be shipped via Egypt and not Israel, the Qatari ambassador in the coastal enclave said Tuesday.

Muhammad al-Imadi told a news conference that the goods, promised weeks earlier, would be shipped via the Gaza-Egypt Rafah crossing rather than through Israel.
It is possible that only heavy equipment would come via Israel while construction material goes through Rafah. But Rafah is still not equipped to handle any major commercial traffic, as far as I know.

Either way, it appears that Qatar is cooperating with Israel in setting up specific construction projects for Gaza, something Israel has always allowed as long as it was clear the materials couldn't be taken by Hamas to build tunnels or weapons bunkers instead.