In a gesture of goodwill to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, Defense Minister Ehud Barak has approved the rare transfer of large amounts of cement, shoes and clothing to the Gaza Strip, defense officials said on Saturday.
According to the officials, Barak approved the move in late March, around the time that he and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu visited Washington and Ban traveled toGaza.
The supplies will cross into the Strip over the coming week via Kerem Shalom, the main crossing used by Israel to the southern Gaza Strip. Officials said that some of the cement would go toward the renovations being carried out at a UN-run sewage plant in the central Strip.
Despite the transfer of the supplies, some of which have not been allowed into Gaza since Operation Cast Lead last winter, officials said that Israel’s policy remained the same and that as long as St.-Sgt. Gilad Schalit was being held in Gaza it would not approve the transfer of large shipments.
Source: The Jerusalem Post