Shipment of energy bars from Gaza breaks export ban

Two trucks mark the first time since 2007 Hamas coup in Gaza that exports are allowed to the West Bank.

March 6, 2012 01:47
Trucks at the Kerem Shalom Crossing in Gaza [file]

Trucks at the Kerem Shalom Crossing in Gaza 390 (R). (photo credit: Ibraheem Abu Mustafa / Reuters)

Israel on Monday initiated a pilot program to allow 30 truckloads of energy bars made from dates to enter the West Bank from Gaza.

The two trucks that traveled out of Gaza on Monday marked the first time in almost five years that Israel had approved Gazan exports to the West Bank.

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Until Hamas’s violent coup of the Gaza Strip in June 2007, 85 percent of its exports went to the West Bank, according to Gisha – The Legal Center for Freedom of Movement.

“This is an important step toward fulfilling the Israeli government’s commitment to allow economic development for Palestinians living in Gaza,” said Gisha’s director, Sari Bashi.

“The question is whether this is a one-time gesture to the World Food Program (WFP) or a change in policy,” she said.

Maj. Guy Inbar, the spokesman for the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories, would not comment on the implications of the pilot program.

He said only that the export of the Gazan energy bars to the West Bank had been approved at the request of the Palestinian Authority and the WFP.

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