Hamas threatens 'explosive' response to Gaza cement ban

Published April 5th, 2016 - 03:00 GMT
A Palestinian woman mourns in the midst of destroyed buildings in the Gaza Strip in 2014 - almost entirely constructed of concrete. (AFP/File)
A Palestinian woman mourns in the midst of destroyed buildings in the Gaza Strip in 2014 - almost entirely constructed of concrete. (AFP/File)
A spokesperson for Hamas warned on Tuesday that Israel's continued prevention of cement into the Gaza Strip could lead to serious retaliation.
 
Amad Al-baz, a Hamas spokesperson “If Israel continues prohibiting the import of cement to Gaza the situation will explode in the face of the occupation and on whoever is responsible.”
 
The spokesperson also mentioned that he challenges Israel to come and find any citizen who has taken cement without being on the offical list of beneficiaries, adding that all distribution centers are monitored by cameras that are linked to Israeli Intelligence. 
 
While the spokesperson did not elaborate on how the "situation will explode," Hamas and Israeli forces have clashed for years.
 
Al-Baz continued, “This decision comes with grave consequences. It has halted the progress of building and reconstruction, and will destroy the economy, increase unemployment and the other negative repercussions faced by tens of thousands of citizens left homeless by the last war” in the summer of 2014.
 
According to the spokesperson, Gaza has received 400,000 tons of cement up to today, but in order to fix the destruction and continue rehabilitation projects, they need a minimum 2,000,000 tons.
 
Israel accuses Hamas of diverting shipments away from rebuilding projects. Al-Baz refutes these claims, stating that Hamas only intervenes to control prices and prevent the theft/manipulation of the cement sent to Gaza.
 
The UN has urged a speedy resolution to the issue, but has not directly intervened. 

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