Momentum for the rebuilding of the Gaza Strip advanced on Tuesday, with a senior United Nations diplomat briefing the Security Council on a temporary deal between Israeli and Palestinian officials to import cement and other building materials.
The diplomat, Robert H. Serry, the special envoy for the Middle East peace process, told the Council that he hoped the deal would lead to a broader agreement on opening border crossings to Gaza and on ending severe restrictions on imports to the Palestinian territory, where the economy was stagnating before the 50-day war this summer.
The Palestinian Authority, led by President Mahmoud Abbas, will have “a lead role in the reconstruction effort,” while United Nations monitors will ensure that reconstruction materials are not “diverted from their entirely civilian purpose,” Mr. Serry said.
The advance in diplomacy came as the Israeli military reported that a mortar shell fired from Gaza landed in Israel on Tuesday evening, the first since the Aug. 26 cease-fire. No damage or injuries were reported, and it appeared to be the work of a rogue militant individual or group, not Hamas, the dominant power in Gaza.