Israel blocks Gaza produce bound for West Bank

16 Oct


World Bulletin/News Desk, 14 October 2014

The Israeli authorities have blocked a shipment of produce from the Gaza Strip bound for the occupied West Bank – the first in seven years – despite earlier promises to allow it through, a Palestinian official has said. [See Financial Times article posted yesterday on this website. Ed]

“Trucks carrying 14 tons of agricultural produce to the West Bank were forced to return to Gaza, even though Israel had approved the crossing earlier,” Tahseen al-Saqqa, director of crossings at the Palestinian Agriculture Ministry, told Anadolu Agency.

“The Israeli authorities gave no reasons for the move,” he added.

If successful, the shipment – which included seven tons of sweet potatoes and as many tons of dates – would have been the first such consignment from the Gaza Strip to the West Bank since 2007, when Israeli tightened its blockade on the Hamas-run coastal enclave.

“Gaza exports less than 2 percent of its local production,” al-Saqqa said, stressing the importance of an active export sector to the strip’s economic recovery.

An August 26 cease-fire deal between Israel and Palestinian resistance factions ended a 51-day Israeli military onslaught on the Gaza Strip, which killed over 2,150 Palestinians – mostly civilians – and injured some 11,000.

It also called on the self-proclaimed Jewish state to reopen its border crossings with Gaza to commercial traffic.

Blockaded by Israel – by air, land and sea – since 2007, the Gaza Strip has seven border crossings linking it to the outside world. Six of these are controlled by Israel, while the seventh – the Rafah crossing – is controlled by Egypt, which keeps it tightly sealed for the most part.

Israel sealed four of its commercial crossings with Gaza in June 2007 after Palestinian resistance movement Hamas wrested control of the strip from the Fatah-led Palestinian Authority.

As it currently stands, the Israeli authorities allow the Kerem Shalom crossing – which links Gaza to both Israel and Egypt – to operate for commercial purposes.

The Gaza-Israel Erez crossing, meanwhile, is generally devoted to the movement of individuals between the blockaded Gaza Strip and the occupied West Bank.

One Response to “Israel blocks Gaza produce bound for West Bank”

  1. aboriginalpress October 16, 2014 at 8:41 am #

    Reblogged this on .

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