Israel withholds cement to Gaza Strip

Israel withholds cement to Gaza Strip
Published: 05 November 2008

Israeli companies stopped providing cement to the Gaza Strip upon orders by the Israeli military, a Palestinian importer said on Tuesday.

"The Israeli company ceased providing Gaza with the cement since the end of the last week," said Nabil al-Zaeem, director of the Commercial Services Company. "The Israeli security department ordered the withholding of the concrete."

Al-Zaeem added that the amount of cement, that Israel started to send into Gaza in June, was "very reduced and only meets 10 per cent of the virtual needs."

The cement was among new things that Israel started to allow into Gaza after Egypt brokered a ceasefire between Israel and Islamic Hamas movement that controls Gaza Strip in June 2007.

Only 200,000t of the cement have entered into Gaza since the ceasefire took effect "and the whole amount, if it is sold in natural conditions, it would run out in 10 days," according to al-Zaeem.