Days of Palestine, Gaza Strip –UN Deputy Special Coordinator for Mideast Peace Process James Rawley denied on Sunday that Hamas is using cement for tunnels.
Rawley, who was speaking to the Israeli radio Reshet Bet, also denied that Hamas has ever discussed the issue of a long-term truce in the Gaza Strip.
He said that there was not proof that Hamas has used the construction material getting into the Gaza Strip for “non-civilian projects” in the Gaza Strip.
The UN official noted that the cement sold in the black market in the Gaza Strip ends up in the hands of the Palestinians, whose houses were destroyed in the Israeli offensives against the Strip.
The Israeli occupation has been enforcing a strict siege on the Gaza Strip, claiming that Hamas uses the construction material, mainly cement, in building defensive tunnels.
Meanwhile, he stressed that Hamas did not discussed with the US a long-term truce, reiterating the importance that the Palestinian Authority (PA) should seek this goal.
Several days ago, PA President Mahmoud Abbas and his movement Fatah claimed that Hamas had conducted secret talks aiming to lifting the siege in return of separating Gaza from the occupied West Bank.
Hamas denied the claims, noting that certain international parties proposed this and it did not reply because, it said, this issue needs a national agreement.
Rowley called for accelerating the reconstruction of the Gaza Strip and taking “serious” steps towards lifting the eight-year-old siege on the coastal enclave.