Israel to allow Palestinians to export from Gaza

Security cabinet has decided to ease restrictions, despite gradual escalation in Palestinian attacks.

Kerem Shalom 311 (photo credit: Associated Press)
Kerem Shalom 311
(photo credit: Associated Press)
In a further reduction in restrictions over the Gaza Strip, Israel will begin allowing the export of regular goods from Gaza next Sunday for the first time since Hamas’s violent takeover in 2007.
Earlier this month, the security cabinet decided to ease additional restrictions over the Gaza Strip and to allow the export of goods from the Hamas-controlled territory.
The exports will begin amid a gradual escalation in Palestinian attacks from Gaza.

The first export will be of peppers, which will be transferred Sunday to Israel by five to 10 trucks via the Kerem Shalom Crossing. The containers will then be inspected before being transferred to Ashdod Port where they will be shipped to Europe for sale.
In addition to produce, Palestinians will be allowed to export furniture and textiles.
Israel has over the past two years maintained its ban on Gaza exports except for a symbolic amount of strawberries and flowers transferred to the Netherlands per a request by the Dutch government.
Defense sources said that the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) Maj.-Gen.
Eitan Dangot and Defense Minister Ehud Barak decided to begin the export process from Gaza after receiving a personal request from Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.
Israel had initially said it would only allow exports from Gaza after the PA completed its deployment at Kerem Shalom, an issue that is still being discussed between Dangot and PA Civil Affairs Minister Hussein A-Sheikh.