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Blockade may set back schools

October 27, 2009|Times Wire Reports

Gaza Strip schools damaged by Israeli bombing will be exposed to the cold and rain this winter unless Israel relaxes its blockade to permit the import of windows, doors and building materials, officials said.

Officials of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency and Gaza's Education Ministry say thousands of pupils face "darkness and cold" this winter in poorly lighted and sparsely furnished schoolrooms.

Ministry spokesman Khaled Radi said more than 170 schools damaged in the winter offensive had not yet been repaired.

Israel restricts the import of cement, steel and other materials that could be used for military purposes by Hamas, the Islamic militant group that rules Gaza. Hamas refuses to recognize the Jewish state and remains committed to armed struggle against it.

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