Exports resume from Gaza as Israel eases blockade

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  • The resumption of some trade and the postal service came one month after a ceasefire between Israel and the enclave's Hamas rulers.
  • 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.


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.

The six-week freeze on mail had impacted thousands of Palestinians, including many who have been waiting for their passports to be issued in Ramallah, seat of the Palestinian Authority in the occupied West Bank.

Israel loosened restrictions amid a fragile ceasefire that went into effect May 21, ending the bloodiest fighting between Israel and Hamas since 2014.

The conflict killed 260 Palestinians including some fighters, according to Gaza authorities.

In Israel, 13 people were killed, including a soldier, by rockets fired from Gaza, the police and army said.

Last week, ceasefire violations included Palestinian militants setting off incendiary ballons to spark fires in farm land -- and Israel responding with two rounds of air strikes.

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