Official: Gaza date bars to be exported to West Bank
Ma'an News Agency
October 9, 2012
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Date bars produced in the Gaza Strip are set to be shipped to the West Bank on Tuesday as Israel reopened the Kerem Shalom crossing after closing it for a Jewish holiday, a Gaza official said.
Crossing official Raed Fattouh told Ma'an that three truckloads of date bars produced in Gaza would be transferred to the West Bank under the supervision of the United Nations World Food Programme.
The biscuits are destined for vulnerable children in the West Bank who receive food support from the UN program.
In March, two trucks of date bars exported from Gaza marked the first time produce had left the coastal enclave for the West Bank in five years.
A rare exception to Israel's ban on Gazan exports to the West Bank, historically its main market, Israeli legal organization Gisha heralded the March delivery as "an important step toward fulfilling the Israeli government's commitment to allow economic development for Palestinians living in Gaza."
But Gisha director Sari Bashi said it raised questions about the policy behind the export ban: "If marketing goods to the West Bank can be approved once, why can't it be allowed on a routine basis?"
Gaza's economy has collapsed under an Israeli blockade that was tightened in 2007 after Hamas took power. Around 83 percent of Gaza's factories are idle or operating at less than half capacity, Gisha says.
Related Topics: Gaza
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