File - A Palestinian stands in his badly damaged house as the ruins of houses, which witnesses said were destroyed during the seven-week Israeli offensive, are seen in the east of Gaza City August 31, 2014. REUTERS/Suhaib Salem
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Fifty days of war in one of the most densely populated parts of the world have left swaths of Gaza in ruins.One fact stands out: Before the war, an average of 30 tons of cement crossed into Gaza each week.For years, most cement used in Gaza has been bought from Israel's sole manufacturer, Nesher, which controls about 85 percent of the Israeli market.Hani Shamaly, who runs a company importing construction materials into Gaza, said Israeli cement was good and quick to import.Gaza's neighbors have agreed to ease the blockade, but also want to ensure no weapons are smuggled in and that "dual-use" goods, such as cement and iron, are not being used to rebuild attack tunnels that Hamas constructed from Gaza into Israel.Gaza's problems are not just with Israel.
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