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JERUSALEM — For more than seven weeks, the international aid group Mercy Corps has been trying to send 90 tons of macaroni to the isolated Gaza Strip as part of a global campaign to help the 1.4 million Palestinians there rebuild their lives after Israel's recent devastating 22-day military operation.
Israel, which controls most of what goes into and out of Gaza, has said no repeatedly.
At first, Israeli officials said that they wanted to make sure that the macaroni wasn't destined for a Hamas charity. Then they said macaroni was banned because they didn't consider it an essential food item.
On Wednesday, days after American lawmakers raised pointed questions about the macaroni ban, Israeli authorities said that they were preparing to give the pasta a green light.
For the international aid community, the dispute is emblematic of the red tape and political maneuvering that have stymied efforts to rebuild Gaza.
"We're at the end of our rope," said David Holdridge, the head of Middle East emergency relief efforts for Mercy Corps. "This is just ridiculous. It's absolutely absurd."
Local sources: Hamas is selling flour donated by the people of Qatar for the sector for the amount of NIS 140 per bag.
Gaza, Palestine Press — Local sources in the Gaza Strip said that Hamas is selling flour and humanitarian aid to citizens that was donated by the State of Qatar and which the Egyptian authorities allowed to enter the sector.
The sources added that bags of flour sold by Hamas and made by Qatar as aid to the Palestinian people is valued at the amount of 140 to 150 NIS per bag, pointing out that the transaction is for the benefit of Hamas is evil and that [the Hamas movement is working against the public interest] .
It is noteworthy that the State of Qatar has donated large quantities of food and medical supplies to Palestinians in the Gaza Strip to help them in the face of ongoing Israeli aggression against the Gaza Strip.