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Israel Rewards Hamas with Building Material for Schools, Homes

Hamas still holds Gilad Shalit and cancels another ceasefire, but Israel allows transfer of material for Gaza homes and schools.
By Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu
First Publish: 4/4/2011, 10:40 AM / Last Update: 4/4/2011, 10:18 AM

Flash 90

Hamas is still holding IDF soldier Gilad Shalit hostage and recently canceled a ceasefire that never was, but Israel has approved the  transfer of materials for Hamas-run Gaza homes and schools, where incitement against Israel is taught in schools.

The IDF website reports that its coordinator allowed the transfer for what Hamas has declared a “jihad of construction.” Hundreds of tons of equipment and material for nearly 1,000 homes, 33 infrastructure projects and 1,000 farm projects have been allowed in.

The building activity, valued at more than $100 million, is aimed at boosting the poor economy in Gaza, which flourished since it was restored to Israel in 1967 until the first and second Intifadas halted economic growth and forced curtailment of the employment of Arabs by Jewish contractors and Gush Katif farmers.

Gaza's economy went into a further tailspin after the expulsion of Gush Katif Jews nearly six years ago and the ensuing Hamas takeover of Gaza in a bloody military war with the rival Fatah faction four years ago.

International monitors are supervising the transfer of the building material, which includes cement and metal that are used for building terror smuggling tunnels and rockets.  

Meanwhile, Hamas has not shed any light on the fate and condition of Shalit, kidnapped in an underground raid on an IDF position on the Gaza border in June 2006.

Hamas has also renounced a “ceasefire” that was declared last week but was never put into force. Hamas made the ceasefire conditional on Israel halting all retaliatory and pre-emptive operations to prevent terrorist rocket attacks against Israeli civilians and soldiers.