Calm in Gaza showing worrying signs of erosion: UN

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Jeffrey Feltman

The calm in the Gaza Strip is showing worrying signs of erosion, Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs, Jeffrey Feltman said Tuesday in a briefing to the UN Security Council on the Situation in the Middle East.

He described as worrying the announcement by the Israeli Defence Force (IDF) that it had uncovered a mile-long tunnel constructed with slabs of concrete, from Gaza into Israel—the third tunnel discovered in a year.

Under Secretary-General Feltman condemned the construction of such tunnels, noting that the use of hundreds of tons of cement when cement is critically needed for civilian goals in Gaza, is also deeply disturbing.

“Following the tunnel discovery, the Government of Israel temporarily suspended the transfer of construction material through the Kerem Shalom crossing into Gaza. We fully recognize Israel's legitimate security concerns but we remind Israeli officials of the needs of Gaza's residents, including for construction material for civilian use that must enter Gaza through legal crossings. The people of Gaza suffer from the rise in food insecurity, a significant energy problem affecting the health, water and sanitation sectors, and from restrictions imposed on movement of people for medical and educational reasons, with Rafah crossing open for 16 out of 36 days during this period.”

Under Secretary-General Feltman expressed gratitude to Turkey for its' donation of USD 850,000 to the Palestinian Authority for the purchase of fuel to generate electricity for essential health and sanitation services in Gaza, to be implemented with United Nations assistance.

Donn Bobb, United Nations.

Duration: 1’31″

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