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Gaza port suffers $100,000 in storm damage

Dec. 15, 2013 1:15 P.M. (Updated: Dec. 15, 2013 10:34 P.M.)
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- The port of Gaza and the fisherman's dock have suffered losses of up to $100,000 in the recent storm as an indirect result of the Israeli blockade on concrete blocks, a Gaza Ministry of Transportation official said Sunday.

In a news conference held Sunday at the fisherman's dock, coordinator of the Gaza Harbors Said Ammar said that the dock had been severely damaged as a result of the storm, affecting the 1000 Gazan families who directly depend on the dock for their livelihoods.

Ammar said that the wave breakers off the Gaza coast were not strong enough and as a result the port and the docks were battered by the storm, which began on Thursday.

He added that there were attempts before the storm to strengthen the wave breaker with concrete blocks but these were done "haphazardly," as the coasts needed 5000 dolosse, or large concrete blocks, to be fully secured.

"We couldn't obtain more than 600 dolosse because of the siege Israel has been imposing on the Gaza Strip," he added, referring to the Israeli blockade of the coastal enclave that limits concrete imports.

A spokesperson for the Gaza Ministry of Transportation Khalil al-Zayyan, highlighted that the ministry managed to move more than 200 fishing boats from the dock in anticipation of the storm.

He added that Israeli restrictions on entry of cement and other construction materials would severely impede repairs on the port of Gaza.

The Gaza Strip is currently under a state of emergency due to severe weather conditions caused by a historic storm front moving south across the Levant.

The Gaza Strip has been under a severe economic blockade imposed by the State of Israel since 2006.

The blockade has severely limited the imports and exports of the Gaza Strip and has led to frequent humanitarian crises and hardship for Gazans.
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