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In pictures: Gaza's 'blockade grinders'

Palestinians put together local machines to grind rubble from the houses that were destroyed by the Israeli raids
(MEE/Mohammed Asad)

Since Israel's military offensive - dubbed Operation Cast Lead - against the Gaza Strip in 2009, Palestinians have put together local machines to grind the stones and the rubble from the houses that were destroyed by the air raids.

The machines are referred to locally as "blockade grinders", in reference to the Israeli-imposed blockade of the territory which has prevented the imports of basic construction materials.

The process also includes separating iron from the rubble and then seeking to straighten the iron bars for re-use.

The grinded rubble is divided into two parts: one is made up of small rocks that will later be mixed with cement, while the other smaller part will be moulded into bricks.

Despite the resourcefulness of Palestinians in Gaza in getting around the restrictions of the blockade, the shortage of construction material continues to pose a problem.

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