Gravel, the small stones vital for construction both as a cover for roads and driveways and as an ingredient in the manufacture of concrete, has been in short supply in the Gaza Strip for years. This is by design, as Israel has banned the import of gravel since 2007.
That ban is being relaxed today, according to Israeli officials, who say that starting Sunday the Gaza Strip will be allowed to import 20 truckloads of gravel a day, five days a week.
The import of gravel will allow companies in the Gaza Strip to finally begin the task of repairing from the 2008 Israeli invasion, as well as subsequent attacks. A total ban on construction material has left much of the strip in ruins since then.
Israeli Defense Ministry officials confirmed the move and said that they were also planning to allow companies in the strip to import some heavy construction material. This is a major change in Israeli policy, as for years everything from chocolate to cement to shoes was said to have a “military” use and was banned nominally as a form of “self defense.”