Israel Bans Shipments of Gaza Building Materials

Officials Cite 'Terror Tunnel' for Open-Ended Ban

In Mid-September, Israel finally began allowing construction material into the Gaza Strip in significant amounts, the first chance much of the strip has had to acquire materials to repair damage from the 2008 Israeli invasion. Today, Israel re-banned such shipments indefinitely for “security reasons.”

The move comes in the wake of the discovery of a tunnel connecting southern Israel to the Gaza Strip, which Israeli officials immediately termed a “terror tunnel” even though there is no indication it had been used for any actual attacks.

During the several-year siege of the tiny strip, tunnel-building has been the primary way for Gazans to trade with the outside world, with hundreds of tunnels built connecting the strip to Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula. Egypt’s military has been destroying those tunnels en masse since the July coup, and Gaza has had to once again rely exclusively on Israel for any humanitarian goods allowed into the nation.

While growing international outrage had forced Israel to allow at least some goods to continue to flow into Gaza, the latest report seems to be a tailor-made pretext for the Netanyahu government to launch a new crackdown, and with Egypt’s junta openly talking invasion of the strip and Israel’s Navy still enforcing a full naval blockade, the strip is more isolated from the outside world than it’s been in years.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.