Entrance of construction materials
Construction materials enter the Gaza Strip via Kerem Shalom Crossing, the Gaza-Israel commercial crossing. Israel restricts the entrance of construction materials into the Gaza Strip as it defines them as dual-use materials (Hebrew) that can be used for military purposes, despite the fact that they are not defined as such under the Wassenaar Arrangement, which regulates lists of arms and dual-use materials. Today, Israel allows regulated entrance of construction materials into Gaza as part of the Gaza Reconstruction Mechanism (GRM). Traders, international organizations and residents of the Strip who are interested in rebuilding their houses must be approved by Israeli authorities before they can import construction materials.
In mid-June 2007, after Hamas took control of Gaza, Israel forbade the transfer of construction materials into the Gaza Strip. The Sufa Crossing, which served for the transfer of basic construction materials such as gravel, was closed for the transfer of those materials and shut down completely in September 2008. After the events surrounding the flotilla, Israel declared, on June 20, 2010, that it would examine granting permits for the transfer of construction materials for projects in Gaza, which are approved by the Palestinian Authority and monitored by international organizations. From June 2010 to October 2013, Israel approved the transfer of a limited amount of construction materials into Gaza.
Following Operation Pillar of Defense, in December 2012, and for the first time since the start of the closure, Israel allowed a quota of 20 truckloads of gravel to enter Gaza per day for the private sector. Later, in September 2013, Israel increased the quantity, allowing 70 truckloads of gravel, steel and cement, per day for the private sector. Despite this, Israel still required international organizations to undergo a complex and time-consuming process of approval and coordination in order to transfer construction materials into the Strip.
On October 13, 2013, after the discovery of a tunnel running from Gaza to Kibbutz Ein HaShlosha inside Israel, Israel announced that it would no longer allow construction materials to enter Gaza for the private sector or for international organizations. It was only on December 8, 2013 that Israel once again allowed construction materials to enter the Gaza Strip for international organizations only. Starting in October 2014, Israel began allowing the entrance of construction materials for private use and reconstruction in the framework of the Gaza Reconstruction Mechanism, as well as other building projects.
Last update: March 2017.