Corruption Hampers Effort to Rebuild Gaza – Peter Beaumont
(dailyalert.org, Dec. 29, 2014)
A UN-designed mechanism to control the supply of building materials for the reconstruction of Gaza after this summer’s war – and to prevent them falling into the hands of Hamas – has been widely corrupted. During a recent visit to cement warehouses in Gaza, the Guardian saw cement being resold a few feet outside the warehouse at up to four times the cost within minutes of being handed over to householders with UN coupons. Elsewhere, the Guardian heard allegations of officials taking bribes to produce coupons for more concrete than was needed by householders, so the excess could be resold.
Maher Khalil, a Gaza City warehouse manager, said: “Inside we sell the concrete for 500 shekels a ton. Outside they sell it for 1,600.” Economist Omar Shaaban said: “Most of the cement that is coming in is being sold on the black market.” (Guardian-UK)