Gisha response to blocking construction materials to Gaza: Don’t respond to militant threat by delaying construction of schools and hospitals
This morning, the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories, Gen. Eitan Dangot, blocked the transfer of construction materials to the Gaza Strip. Seventy truckloads of building materials for the private sector and 60 truckloads for humanitarian projects undertaken by international organizations were supposed to have entered Gaza today.
According to "Haaretz", the decision to stop the transfer of construction materials was a response to the discovery of a tunnel dug by militants from Gaza to the Israeli Kibbutz Ein Hashlosha.
Israel has the authority and the obligation to take measures to protect the lives of its soldiers and citizens.
However, it is not clear how blocking the entrance of construction materials, including those intended for international projects, promotes that goal. Construction materials ordered by international organizations to build schools, clinics and homes undergo an intensive and lengthy approval process, including a requirement to monitor and document their use.
The connection drawn between announcing the discovery of the tunnel and blocking the transfer of construction materials raises the specter of a punitive act, similar to cases in the past, in which Israel closed the civilian goods crossing Kerem Shalom in response to rocket fire by militants.
Gisha calls on Israel to distinguish between its activities against armed groups and its responsibilities to allow normal life for the productive, civilian sector in Gaza.