Update on the US brokered ease of Gaza: Flower & 1 whole truck of strawberries allowed to leave Gaza for export

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Maan News Gancy | Jan 17, 2012

GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — Israel permitted the export of one truck of flowers and another of strawberries from the blockaded Gaza Strip on Tuesday, a Palestinian official said.

The produce will leave Gaza through Kerem Shalom, the sole remaining crossing into Israel, while 220 trucks will enter the Gaza Strip, Palestinian crossings liaison Raed Fattouh said.

Under an agreement between the Dutch government and Israeli authorities, limited exports of agricultural produce are permitted to leave the blockaded strip in the growing season.

The Israeli legal rights organization Gisha says the winter export deal allows just 1 percent of the 400 export trucks a day Israel agreed to permit under a 2005 deal with the Palestinian Authority.

Israel tightened a land and sea blockade on Gaza in 2007 after Hamas took control of the coastal strip, restricting the movement of goods and the 1.7 million residents out of the 360 square kilometer territory.

Limited imports into Gaza were straitjacketed by the closure of three terminals equipped for fuel and goods transfers since 2008, and a ban on local construction materials.

Exports from Gaza producers are blocked by Israeli authorities, bar the irregular Dutch-sponsored vegetable and fruit convoys.

“Since all exports from Gaza to Europe via Israel undergo comprehensive security checks and meet all required standards, it is hard to imagine any security rationale behind the ban,” Gisha says.

Source and more at the Maan News Agency

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