UN Blames Israeli Blockade for Slow Reconstruction

Despite Hamas being more intent on restocking terror arsenal than reconstruction, new UN peace envoy says Israel must stop blockade.

Cynthia Blank,

Enforcing Gaza blockade (file)
Enforcing Gaza blockade (file)
Israel news photo: Flash 90

The United Nations' new Middle East peace envoy made obvious his positions on Thursday calling on Israel, during his first official visit to the region, to lift its naval blockade of Gaza. 

The Jewish State's blockade of the Hamas terrorist stronghold stems from serious security concerns that building materials will instead be used to make weapons and build terror tunnels into Israel. 

In spite of that fact, Nickolay Mladenov, was was appointed in February, insisted the first steps for the region included Israel lifting the blockade and for disparate Palestinian factions, namely Hamas and Fatah, to unite.  

"I strongly believe that it will hurt the cause of the Palestinian people if division, if the lack of unity, is not addressed as soon as possible,"
Mladenov told reporters in Gaza City.

"I hope that the United Nations will be able to support the efforts to strengthen this unity," he added. 

"We in the United Nations, along with our partners in the international community, have a responsibility to ensure that Gaza is not just being reconstructed... but that the blockade which stops access to construction materials, to movement of people, goods... is lifted," Mladenov concluded.

Gaza is in the midst of a humanitarian crisis stemming from the aftermath of the 50-day war initiated by Hamas after it began launching missiles into Israel last summer. 

Some 2,200 Palestinian were killed in the war - 49% of them terrorists - and 100,000 people were left homeless after Israel was forced to target residential areas from which Hamas was launching rockets into the Jewish state. 

Reconstruction has been slow, as international pledges for aid have not been realized, and Hamas seems more intent on rebuilding its weapons arsenals and terror tunnel infrastructure

AFP contributed to this report. 




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