The United Nations has brokered an Israeli-Palestinian deal on imports of construction materials to Gaza to ensure they will not be diverted by Hamas militants, an envoy said Tuesday, Your Middle East reported.
The agreement on monitoring the supply of materials "must get up and running without delay," said Robert Serry, the UN envoy for the Middle East.
The deal, announced by Serry at a UN Security Council meeting, would allow private companies to move in to rebuild Gaza after a recent 50-day war ravaged the enclave and left more than 2,140 Palestinians dead.
It addresses Israel's concerns that cement and other materials could be used to rebuild Hamas tunnels by setting up a UN monitoring mechanism of the imports.
Serry described the destruction in Gaza as "truly shocking," with some 18,000 houses flattened or severely damaged while 65,000 Palestinians remain in UN-run shelters and 100,000 are homeless.
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."