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Gaza blockade crimping school construction even after easing

Demon of Light

Bohemian Revolutionary
DP Veteran
May 7, 2010
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Despite Israel's promise to ease the closure of the Gaza Strip, 40,000 Palestinian children eligible to enrol in United Nations schools this year had to be turned away this week because building materials for school construction have not been approved to enter the area since 2007.

Construction of a standard school requires an estimated 220 truckloads of building materials, or 22,000 truckloads for 100 schools. The only crossing Israel allows to open, Kerem Shalom, can accommodate just 250 truckloads per day, mostly for food and basic humanitarian supplies.

Despite promises, Israel has yet to approve a single truckload of construction materials for UNRWA's schools and has agreed to “negotiate” coordinating materials for just eight out of the 100 needed schools. Since the easing of the closure, Israel has allowed just 240 truckloads of construction materials monthly for all uses, compared with more than 5,000 trucks monthly before the closure (4 per cent of pre-closure levels).

Source: United Nations News Service

While allowing in more kinds of materials is certainly progress it alone is not enough to improve the life of ordinary Gazans.
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