Gaza’s ruling party Hamas is set to sign a protocol in Cairo this Thursday, authorising the shipment of construction materials to the Palestinian enclave from Egypt.
“A delegation representing the government of Gaza will travel on Thursday to sign the protocol, under which all the necessary building materials and heavy equipment through the Rafah border crossing,” said Gazan government’s Minister of Public Works and Housing Youssef Al-Ghariz in a Monday press statement.
The materials come as part of a previous grant from the State of Qatar for Gaza reconstruction projects that amount to $407m.
The signatories to the protocol include Qatar, a delegation from Ghariz’s ministry, and the supplier. Ghariz also said he had presented a detailed report including the quantities expected to be shipped during reconstruction.
Last month Egypt allowed 20 trucks loaded with private construction materials to cross into Gaza from Rafah. Ghariz noted that the cost of shipping the materials to Gaza would be cheaper than procuring the same materials inside the strip.
Most of the grant donated by Qatar will go to rebuilding infrastructure and housing damaged by Israeli airstrikes since 2008. Qatar Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifah Al-Thani visited the Gaza strip last October, making him the first head of state to visit the territory since Hamas took over in 2007.
During his brief visit he inaugurated a renovation project of a major roadway and met the government’s cabinet.
While the Israeli government criticised Qatar’s recent dealings with Gaza as pursuing support for Hamas, the Qatari government has insisted that its donations are in the interest of the Palestinian people, rather than a specific group or party.
The Egyptian government has instituted more lax regulations for allowing construction materials across the border, confirming to Qatar last October that it would permit any construction materials and equipment to cross into Gaza.