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Hamas welcomes reports about Gaza rebuilding deal

07-16-2010 15:17 BJT

GAZA, July 15 (Xinhua) -- Islamic Hamas movement on Thursday welcomed reports that Libya has brokered a deal with Israel and Egypt to start reconstruction projects in the Gaza Strip.

The reports said that Egypt and other European mediators helped pushing the deal under the condition that a Gaza-bound Libyan aid ship goes to Egypt instead of confronting Israeli navy that rejected to let the ship head for the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip.

The ship, Amalthea, docked this afternoon at an Egyptian port in El-Arish city and its cargo will be delivered to Gaza by land through Egyptian border.

"We don't have accurate information about the deal right now," said Salah Al-Bardawil, a Gaza-based Hamas official. But the determination to deliver aid to Gaza and trying to launch construction projects here "is a big step to break the siege," he told Xinhua, noting that Hamas "welcomes and greets the Libyan stance."

The reports say that Israel had agreed to let a Libyan charity, headed by the son of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, start "a huge" project to rebuild houses that were destroyed in an Israeli military operation in Gaza between 2008-2009.

The project would be implemented by a United Nations relief agency operating in Gaza, but officials from the UNRWA were not available to comment on the reports.

Israel loosened its Gaza blockade to defuse international criticism after its commandos killed nine Turks in a flotilla sailing for Gaza on May 31. However, Israel still restricts shipments of construction materials through its land crossings with Gaza.

Editor:Jin Lin |Source: Xinhua

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