GAZA, September 17, 2013 (WAFA) – For the first time in six years, Israel allowed entry of a limited quantity of cement, steel and gravel into the Gaza Strip for the benefit of the private sector, Nazmi Muhanna, direct of the crossings, said on Tuesday.
He said efforts by President Mahmoud Abbas to convince Israel to allow entry of construction material into Gaza have succeeded, which would allow the private sector to resume construction in the besieged Gaza Strip.
Muhanna said Israel promised to increase the quantity gradually.
Quartet representative Tony Blair welcomed in a statement published Tuesday the Israeli easing of restrictions on Gaza.
“I welcome the decision which reflects our ongoing discussions with the Israelis,” said Blair.
“This is an important step in building a more positive environment for the diplomatic negotiations and in preparing the ground for the more comprehensive and transformative economic initiative which we have been working on for the past few months.”
Blair however said “much more is needed to fundamentally transform the Palestinian economy and improve the lives and livelihoods of Palestinians, but one thing is clear – a vibrant and thriving Palestinian economy, although not a substitute for the peace process in any way, will be beneficial for both sides and can provide hope that a better future is achievable for all.”