Israel to allow construction materials into Gaza

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) — A Palestinian border official says Israel is allowing construction materials into the Gaza Strip for the first time in six years, allowing them to be used by private builders.

Israel barred the entry of construction materials into Gaza when Hamas overran the territory in 2007, fearing militants could use them to build weapons and fortifications. It has allowed them in for projects funded by international organizations like the United Nations since 2010.

Private contractors have had to rely on goods smuggled through tunnels from Egypt. But shortages were reported after Egypt cracked down on those tunnels.

Gaza border official Raed Fattouh said 60 trucks hauling building materials will cross into Gaza on Sunday.

Still, contractors say the amount being allowed in is a fraction of Gaza’s needs.

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