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UN: Israel, Palestinians Reach Deal on Rebuilding Gaza

Palestinian Muslim worshipers attend Friday noon prayer beneath the fallen minaret of the al-Susi mosque in Gaza City on Sept. 12, 2014 which was hit by Israeli strikes during the latest round of deadly fighting with Hamas militants.

A United Nations envoy has announced a deal between Israel and the Palestinians to start reconstruction in Gaza and keep the materials out of the hands of militants.

Special Coordinator for the Mideast Peace Process, Robert Serry, said Tuesday the destruction to schools, hospitals, and infrastructure is shocking.

But he said the new reconstruction mechanism is an important step in giving the people in Gaza hope.

The deal struck with Israel gives the Palestinian Authority the lead role in reconstruction while U.N. monitors ensure that building materials will not be diverted from their civilian purposes.

Serry said the cease-fire between Israel and Hamas militants is largely holding, but calls it worringly fragile.

Both sides agreed to a truce on August 26 after two months of Israeli airstrikes and a ground assault in response to Hamas rocket fire into Israeli territory.

More than 2,100 Palestinians were killed and entire neighborhoods in Gaza were devastated.

Talks on a long-term truce have yet to begin.