Yet in November, 2011, the Israel Civil Administration, which reports to the Israel Ministry of Defense, issued orders to provide massive cement supplies for the construction of seventy five UNRWA school buildings in Gaza.
At the time, our agency asked the Israel Civil Administration if any of the contractors in Gaza who received the cement deliveries were connected to terror groups or to the Gaza regime itself, which is controlled by Hamas.
The Israel Civil Administration responded that it did not know the identities of the contractors who received the cement.
Our agency asked sources in Israeli intelligence at the time if there had been any change in their assessment that Hamas would indeed use cement for lethal purposes.
The answer from Israeli intelligence was that there had been no change in that assessment.
One entity did praised the constrction of the tunnels: UNRWA, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency.
Two thirds of the Arab population in Gaza dwell in UNRWA facilities, under the UNRWA premise and promise of the right of return to their villages from 1948 which no longer exist in Southern Israel.
On December 7th, 2011, UNRWA issued an extensive report which lauded the vast amount of cement smuggled through the Gaza tunnels, attributing recent economic growth and improvement of humanitarian conditions in the Gaza to the operation of smuggling tunnels from Egypt, which UNRWA claimed to have increased employment in Gaza causing “Construction jobs to grow by more than 9,400, increasing by 3.5 times relative to first half 2010”, according the the UNRWA press release.
On December 24th, 2011, Reuters wire echoed the UNRWA press release, portraying Gaza residents whose economic well being had been greatly improved by uninhibited smuggling of cement through the tunnels.
Reuters reported that the tunnels were causing an “economic boom”.
Reuters mentioned only in the fourth paragraph of its story that there was an Israeli “claim” that these tunnels were used by the Hamas regime in Gaza to carry out “sporadic” attacks.
Since the Western Negev regional security chief estimates that almost 30,000 aerial attacks have been launched from Gaza in a little more than ten years, it would be hard to describe these as “sporadic” attacks.
What Reuters neglected to report was that the “administrators union” in UNRWA fell into the hands of Hamas in the union elections which were held in UNRWA facilities in 1999, 2003, 2006, 2009 and later again in 2012.
In other words, Hamas controls funds and supplies that are dispatched to UNRWA in Gaza.
This week, a concrete laden tunnel was discovered which led from Gaza to a nursery school in a kibbutz not far from the Gaza border.
It was estimated that the tunnel took at least eighteen months to dig and construct.
In other words, work began on the tunnel just after Israel supplied the cement to Gaza.
Who profited from the supply of cement to Gaza? One entity: NESHER, Israel’s cement monopoly, which did not supply cement as a “grauity” to Gaza.
And who campaignded for the delivery of cement to Gaza?
Leading human rights organizations, financed by the New Israel Fund, led the campaign to open Gaza for cement supplies.
Our agency asked for a response from these human rights groups, since the Gaza regime used that cement was used to construct a lethal tunnel. Yet n o response has been received.
To reitrate, Reuters had reported that the tunnels were causing an “economic boom”.
“Boom” would have conveyed a more accurate consequence, if the tunnel under the kibbutz nursery school had not been discovered.