Israel lets Gaza export clothes after long break

Egyptian-Israeli embargo on Gaza Strip export lifted as shipment of Palestinian clothing let out of Gaza en route to Britain

 

Israel allowed on Monday the export of Palestinian-made clothes from the Gaza Strip for the first time in at least five years, a Palestinian official said.

Raed Fattouh, who coordinates supplies into Gaza, said a truck carrying 2,000 pieces of mainly woolen garments were exported through the Israeli-controlled Kerem Shalom crossing towards an Israeli seaport en route to Britain.

Kerem Shalom crossing Photo: AP

Kerem Shalom crossing - Photo: AP

Home to 1.7 million people, Gaza has been under tight embargo by both Israel and Egypt since the Islamist group Hamas took control of the coastal enclave in 2007.

Under international pressure, Israel eased import curbs in 2010, but for the most part businesses cannot export.

There was no indication of when the next shipment of clothing would be let out of Gaza and Fattouh said merchants were still awaiting an Israeli agreement to let them begin exporting furniture.

Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood, the biggest party in the new Egyptian parliament, has said it aims to open the border with Gaza to commerce, a shift that would transform life for Palestinians there, but which is hitting resistance from Egyptian authorities reluctant to change a longstanding policy.

Former president Hosni Mubarak signed up to Gaza blockade partly because of his own hostility towards Hamas, an ideological cousin of the Brotherhood group that was banned under his rule.

 

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By Reuters

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