Gaza Border 311.
(photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)
Israel will permit the export of textiles and furniture from the Gaza Strip for
the first time since it imposed a blockade on the Hamas-controlled territory, it
was announced on Tuesday.
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The goodwill gestures for the holy Muslim month
of Ramadan were approved by Defense Minister Ehud Barak per the recommendation
of Maj.-Gen. Eitan Dangot, coordinator of government activities in the
Over the past few years, Israel has maintained a ban on
exports from the Gaza Strip except for token shipments of strawberries and
flowers to the Netherlands at the request of the Dutch government.
December it expanded the exports to include peppers.
Under the new
measures, which went into effect on Tuesday, Palestinians will be able to export
furniture and textile products to markets throughout Europe and the Middle East,
as well as agricultural goods to Jordan.
Dangot finalized the measures
after meeting earlier this week with senior officials from the Palestinian
In addition to expanding exports, Israel will also provide an
additional 3 million cubic meters of drinking water to the Gaza Strip and permit
10 privately owned factories to import construction materials under the
supervision of international NGOs.