Late last week COGAT announced that it was temporarily halting the entry into the Gaza Strip of cement bound for the private sector.
“The Office of the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) monitors the flow of cement into Gaza to ensure that Hamas has not used it to construct tunnels to attack Israel. On Friday COGAT posted on its Arabic Facebook page that it suspended the transfer of cement to Gaza because some deliveries had been diverted by Imad Elbaz, the deputy director-general for Hamas’s economics office.
“This is a blatant violation of agreements for the rehabilitation mechanism,” COGAT said in its Facebook post.
COGAT head Maj.-Gen. Yoav Mordechai temporarily halted the shipments until the matter is fully investigated, COGAT said. adding that it regretted that Hamas continues to pursue its own personal agenda at the expense of Gaza’s residents.
The UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Nickolay Mladenov, issued an unusually sharp response on Monday, accusing Hamas of theft.
“Those who seek to gain through the deviation of materials are stealing from their own people and adding to the suffering of Palestinians in Gaza,” Mladenov said.”
Notwithstanding the BBC’s recurrently promoted interest in selected aspects of the topic of reconstruction in the Gaza Strip (and taking into account its concurrent minimal interest in the subject of Hamas’ rehabilitation of its offensive cross-border tunnels), BBC News has to date once again refrained from reporting on this latest example of Hamas misappropriation of construction materials.