Baz rebuffed the accusations, claiming that all cement deliveries to the enclave were in compliance with the Gaza Reconstruction Mechanism designed by the United Nations.
"We don't interfere with the cement mechanism," he said, specifying that the theft of construction materials was unlikely, due to a round-the-clock monitoring program by Israel.
Piper expressed hope that the issue would be resolved quickly, adding that ban hasn’t affected imports from Qatar and the UN.
However, Baz said that the restriction does slow the reconstruction process, and would eventually result in the growth of unemployment, affecting tens of thousands of citizens across Gaza, a region considered to be one of the world’s poorest.
"If Israel continues to prevent the supply of cement to Gaza, the situation will explode in the face of the occupation and it will bear the responsibility."
Israeli authorities have been anxious that Hamas would use construction materials to repair the tunnels destroyed in the war — subterranean routes that could be used for attacks against the Jewish state.