Lack of Cement for Rebuilding Could Be Disastrous

To rebuild following its current battle with Israel, Gaza will need tons and tons of cement. However, Hamas has been known over the years to use cement for the military rather than for civilian purposes.

The importation of the building material likely will be controlled ever more tightly once the hostilities have ended. Therefore, large areas of Gaza devastated by the bombardment by the Israeli military would likely not experience a rebuilding phase for a number of years.

The end result will be that scars from the current military battle will be visible for the long term moving ahead.

Israel Defense Force troops have been surprised due to the large number of sophisticated tunnels they have discovered during their ground incursion into Gaza.

Israel is surprised considering they and at times, Egypt have done a great deal to prevent engineers from Hamas from touching the material so important for building their tunnels – cement.

As of Monday of this week, the defense forces from Israel had located 23 tunnels beneath the border between Israel and Gaza, with over 66 access points. This mean the efforts by Israel to keep cement only for civilian purposes has failed miserably.

Soil throughout this area is very soft and therefore tunnels can be easy to dig but most of the time, require reinforcement from concrete.

The military in Israel estimates that over 600,000 tons of cement made through mixing with water, gravel and sand might have been used to build all the tunnels.

The tunnels are surprisingly sophisticated. In October of last year, Israel found a tunnel used for attacks under the border that was over 1.5 miles long and more than 66 feet underground.

The tunnel had electricity, a network for communications and yogurt, cookies and other foodstuffs allowing its occupants to stays for a number of months.

Gaza could face problems receiving cement from international organizations that in the past were willing to give the benefit of the doubt to Hamas but are now less likely to. Hamas militants demonstrated that when cement is available they use the building material for tunnels.

Of course, the victims of this will be the innocent residents living in Gaza.

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