Exports resume from Gaza as Israel eases blockade

The curbs impacted thousands of Palestinian farmers

Trucks carrying clothes and fabric rolled out of the Palestinian enclave of Gaza on Monday as Israel lifted some restrictions it had imposed during last month’s conflict.

The crowded Mediterranean territory, home to around two million Palestinians, has been under an Israeli blockade since 2007.

The resumption of some trade and the postal service came one month after a ceasefire between Israel and the enclave’s Hamas rulers to end an 11-day conflict.

An AFP reporter Monday saw trucks loaded with fabric go through the Kerem Shalom crossing while Palestinians in the Gaza Strip reported that some mail also had been allowed in.

On Sunday, the Israeli military body that administers civilian affairs in the Palestinian territories, COGAT, said it will allow the “limited export” of farm produce from Gaza.

Extra restrictions since intense violence last month has meant Gaza’s farmers have been unable to export goods as usual, creating a glut of produce such as tomatoes and strawberries, causing prices to tumble.

COGAT added that “this civilian measure, which was approved by the political echelon, is conditional upon the preservation of security stability”.

Saleh al-Zaq, head of the civil affairs committee that controls the borders, said Israel had informed him that mail would be allowed in and out of the enclave, but COGAT did not confirm the announcement.

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