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Israel decides to resume transfer of building materials for UN projects in Gaza

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(GlobalPost/GlobalPost)

Israel decides to resume transfer of building materials for UN projects in Gaza

UNITED NATIONS, Dec. 9 (Xinhua) -- The UN special coordinator for the Middle East peace process Robert Serry on Monday confirmed that the government of Israel has decided to resume the transfer of construction materials for UN projects in Gaza.

"The situation in Gaza remains a matter of concern and the United Nations is engaged with relevant parties in trying to address the most urgent issues, such as energy, water and private sector construction," UN spokesman Martin Nesirky told reporters here. "Mr. Serry expressed the hope that a solution will be found quickly to the particularly pressing energy situation and called on the support of the international community in this regard."

Power supply has been severely limited for the 1.7 million Gaza residents since Nov. 1 when the only power plant in Gaza was shut down due to a critical fuel shortage, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

Electricity is supplied through Israeli and Egyptian feeder lines but the Gaza Power Plant provides about 30 percent of Gaza's total energy supply, OCHA said.

In his statement issued Monday, Serry stressed that the energy issue, as well as construction in the water and private sector, should be dealt without delay.

According to Serry, the United Nations has been implementing a package worth 500 million U.S. dollars of critical construction projects such as schools, social housing and water and sanitation facilities in Gaza.

Senior UN officials have repeatedly called for an end to the blockade imposed by Israel on Gaza which continues to produce a seriously adverse humanitarian impact in the territory.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/xinhua-news-agency/131209/israel-decides-resume-transfer-building-materials-un-project