The United Nations has brokered a deal on imports of construction materials into the Gaza Strip ‘to ensure they will not be diverted by Hamas’, Mr. Robert Serry, UN envoy for the Middle East, said Tuesday. According to AFP, the deal, announced at a UN Security Council meeting, will allow private companies to move into the region and rebuild Gaza, following the recent 50-day onslaught which ravaged the area and left over 2,000 Palestinians dead.

The deal reportedly addresses Israel’s repeated assertation that cement and other materials could be used to rebuild Hamas tunnels, by setting up a UN monitoring mechanism of the imports.

The monitoring agreement must ‘get up and running without delay,’ said Serry.

He described the destruction in Gaza as ‘truly shocking,’ AFP reportsm with some 18,000 houses flattened or severely damaged while 65,000 Palestinians remain in UN-run shelters and 100,000 are homeless.

Related info and links: Human Rights Watch: Israel Likely to Have Committed War Crimes in Gaza

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Mr. Serry appealed for the re-opening of border crossing points, to allow the delivery of materials, emphasizing that quick action on reconstruction would provide a ‘signal of hope to the people of Gaza.’

(The opening of the crossings is one condition of the ceasefire agreement.) See: 26 Post-ceasefire Violations Documented by Canadian-based Think Tank

A donor conference for Gaza reconstruction is scheduled for Oct. 12, to be held in Egypt and supported by Norway. However, the UN Security Council has been unable to agree on a draft resolution for full implementation of the Gaza truce, for which further talks are scheduled in September.