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July 6, 10

NEWS / Israel moving in right direction by allowing more goods into Gaza

6 July 2010 – The top United Nations envoy for the Middle East peace process has welcomed the recent measures announced by Israel to reportedly allow more consumer goods into Gaza, calling them important steps in the right direction.

“This can only be the beginning of the long road towards reconstruction and a functioning economy in the Gaza Strip,” said a statement issued yesterday by the Office of UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Robert Serry.

Mr. Serry hopes the measures will stimulate commercial activities and allow a substantial increase in the amount of construction materials to enter Gaza, where, according to a recent UN report, three quarters of the buildings and infrastructure damaged by the Israeli military offensive carried out a year and a half ago have still not been repaired.

He looks forward to continued discussions on exports to stimulate Gaza’s economy and on the easing of restrictions on the movement of Palestinians in and out of the Strip, which is home to 1.5 million residents.

Mr. Serry and other UN officials have repeatedly called for ending the blockade against Gaza, which Israel imposed on the territory for what it called security reasons after Hamas, which does not recognize Israel’s right to exist, ousted the Fatah movement in the Strip in 2007.

The statement added that the UN stands ready to expand and accelerate its work in Gaza, including addressing chronic shortages of housing, education, water and sanitation and health facilities.




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