Recently, with the situation in Gaza worsening again and many buildings being destroyed, the lack of construction material to aid in rebuilding has been brought up again.

The IDF claims, on their official site (published 2018, according to the page source):

In addition, lack of necessary resources continues to have a detrimental effect on the population. Although a large amount of building materials enters Gaza from Israel (more than 3.5 million tons of construction material in 2016 alone), a significant portion does not reach construction companies, and is instead diverted to Hamas' [sic] tunnel building activities.

A Google search doesn't really turn up any results on this past 2015, though, and the IDF isn't exactly an impartial source here.

Are there other sources that corroborate this claim? Is Hamas exacerbating the scarcity of construction materials in Gaza by seizing materials?

  • 2
    What is an IDF? May 16, 2021 at 15:49
  • 3
    @WearherVane Israeli Defence Force. May 16, 2021 at 19:12
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    Since Hamas is not open about that, and you don't trust Israel so your only semi credible source would be people opposing Hamas writing in Arabic. As Hamas is a terror organization, not believing in human rights, those kind of people would last long unfortunately. There are Muslim religious leader accusing Hamas of using resources not belonging to them, but again they are not super credible as they have political and religious agenda behind their claims
    – Rsf
    May 17, 2021 at 8:14
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    The arithmetic seems suspect; 3.5M tonnes of building materials would be enough to build 10 Empire State Buildings. If these materials have an average density of 3 then 3.5M tonnes would be a solid cube 105 meters on a side (I'm glossing over the details of cement hydration here). Of course the IDF aren't saying how much they consider "significant". 10%? 50%? May 18, 2021 at 20:11
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    @Rekesoft Note that the article suggests an additional reason why Hamas would prefer to use the tunnels rather than rely on Israeli checkpoints: "...Hamas taxes everything that comes through them, shutting down operators who don't pay up. Tunnel revenue is estimated to provide Hamas with as much as $750 million a year."
    – Zev Spitz
    Jun 6, 2021 at 18:16


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