Israel eases export ban on Gaza Strip

Goodwill gesture for Ramadan will involve furniture, textiles and agricultural goods.

Gaza Border 311 (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)
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.
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 territories.
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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.
Last 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 Authority.
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.