The United Nations has brokered an Israeli-Palestinian deal on imports of construction materials to Gaza, an envoy said Tuesday.
UN envoy to the Middle East, Robert Serry. announced that the agreement would "enable work at the scale required in the strip [...] giving a lead role to the Palestinian Authority in the reconstruction effort". He added that UN monitoring would assure that "these materials will not be diverted from their entirely civilian purpose".
Having described the destruction wrought on Gaza as "truly shocking", Serry emphasised that the supply of materials "must get up and running without delay", in his briefing to the Security Council.
The deal would allow private companies to move in to rebuild the devastated Gaza strip after a Israel's 50-day aggression left more than 2,140 Palestinians dead and 100,000 still homeless weeks after the ceasefire.
He appealed for the re-opening of crossing points to allow the delivery of materials and emphasized that quick action on reconstruction would provide a "signal of hope to the people of Gaza." The resumption of exports and Gaza-West Bank trade links were equally called for.
Egypt is due to host a donor conference for Gaza reconstruction on October 12, supported by Norway. This agreement was hoped to increase donor confidence ahead of talks in Egypt.
Serry spoke out also regarding illegal Israeli land theft for settlements in the West Bank. He noted that violations cannot be committed in the West Bank without consequences in Gaza.
"The crisis in Gaza is far from over and the window of opportunity to address critical needs and stabilize the situation is short," he warned. Unless the world can "change fundamentally the dynamics in Gaza [...] Gaza could implode -- or, yet again, explode -- possibly with a new and even more devastating round of violence" he stated.
Egyptian-brokered negotiations for a continuing ceasefire between Israel and Hamas have held since being agreed upon on the 26th of August. Indirect talks are set to resume mid-September between the two parties.