GAZA - Palestinian farmers in Gaza began destroying three tons of herbs on Saturday, saying a prolonged closure of the crossing into Israel meant the plants were no longer fit for export to Europe.

Last October, Israel lifted a five-year ban on the lucrative export of Gazan herbs and spices, imposed after the Islamist Hamas group seized control of the coastal enclave, and farmers had hoped to cash in with their latest crop of mint and basil.

But Israel shut its sole commercial crossing into the isolated Palestinian territory last Monday in response to a rocket salvo fired out of Gaza, allowing only a brief reopening on Friday to enable the import of certain goods.

Please LIKE our Facebook page - it makes us stronger