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Israel 'set new restrictions' on Gaza business owners
Published Thursday 24/11/2011 (updated) 26/11/2011 13:08
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A truck carrying goods and food supplies crosses the Kerem Shalom terminal
between Israeli and the Gaza Strip. (MaanImages/Hatem Omar)
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Israel has set new restrictions on business owners in Gaza, the head of Palestinian contractors said Thursday.

At a news conference in Gaza City, Osama Kahil said conditions were more difficult despite a recent meeting between businessmen from Gaza and Israeli officials.

"Media reports said the meeting between businessmen from Gaza and Israel resulted in facilitating the work for the Gazan businessmen, but Israel implemented that in its own way.

"Israel stopped issuing permits for businessmen, traders, and contractors to Israel and set some new restrictions that prevented them from continuing their work," Kahil said.

He said Israel had permitted the import of construction materials into the Gaza Strip "to recycle the blockade."

"Allowing construction materials, which are sold for a much higher price than those sent through tunnels, was done after Israeli traders pressured the government. They want to use us and keep the blockade on Gaza," Kahil said.

Lifting the blockade means allowing heavy machinery, construction tools, spare parts and cement needed to rebuild factories and complete construction projects, he added.

Meanwhile, Palestinian Authority crossings director Nathmi Mhanna announced Thursday that limited agricultural produce would be exported from Gaza starting Sunday.

Crossings coordinator Raed Fattouh told Ma'an that Gaza would export produce all over the world, beginning with a shipment of strawberries set to leave Sunday.

On Jan. 5, the first exports of flowers, tomatoes and sweet peppers will begin, he said adding that around 14 trucks would be exported daily.

Under the 2005 agreement signed by Israel, the target for exports from Gaza was set at 550 trucks per day, including 150 truckloads of agricultural produce. The limited export of strawberries and carnations is unlikely to ease the paralysis of the Gaza economy.

On Thursday, Israel allowed between 220-230 trucks to bring aid to the the Gaza Strip through the sole Kerem Shalom crossing, as well as 20 new cars.

In 2005, an average of 10,400 truckloads of goods were imported to the coastal enclave each month, according to a World Bank report.
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1 ) EE / UK
24/11/2011 19:20
Did signed in 2005 agreement allow to fire anti-tank missile into school bus? We need clarification on that.

2 ) Carlos / USA
24/11/2011 21:31
Israel is such a criminal country!

3 ) ronen / israel
25/11/2011 00:22
export through egypt
why no constant whining against egypt???

4 ) @ Carlos #2 / USA
25/11/2011 01:03
That is exactly what "Two States" means: - Gaza has NO (business, etc.) rights in Israel, and - Israel has NO rights in Gaza, - UNLESS they negotiate with each other for such rights, - and given the rocket attacks & abduction attempts, - it is a wonder that Israel officials would consider either a) issuing permits or b) even meeting with businessmen, traders, & contractors from Gaza !!!!

5 ) southparkbear / usa
25/11/2011 06:05
no news, i have failed to see any new 'restriction' more over i question the existing 'restriction'. i think there are none consider these are 2 bodies at war

6 ) IVAN / RUSSIA
25/11/2011 08:21
BIG CHANGE IS COMING SOON !!!!!!!!!!!

7 ) Mark of lewiston / USA
25/11/2011 08:33
Abbas and the defacto gov in Gaza need to make a deal, together, with Egypt and get Rafah open as a full crossing. And the PA needs to repeal any and all tax deals with Israel since Israel is in abrogation. Then nothing need be imported from Israel.

8 ) JohnWV / USA
25/11/2011 19:20
Justice demands that UN and NATO impose resolution just as involuntary, disruptive and humiliating to Israel as Israel has wreaked upon occupied Palestine for generations. The Jewish State must be made to recognize an armed Palestine with externally enforced autonomy, eviction of all settlers, true contiguity encompassing Gaza, the West Bank and Jerusalem together, neither pinched nor parceled, and pay PUNITIVE REPARATIONS.

9 ) @ Mark #7 / Reality
27/11/2011 23:14
The PA needed to stay with the Peace Process, at least long enough to get a connection to the outside world (via Jordan), but they did NOT. Now the PA finds itself in a situation where either: 1- It has NO access to import/export goods, other than accross Israeli controlled territory, which definitely involves taxes or negotiations, or 2- It could cease all import/export, and NO taxes would be collected !!! These are the PA's two Real Choices, or they could try your Fantasy !!!

10 ) JohnWV / USA
28/11/2011 19:38
Ongoing war against occupied Palestine is so beneficial to Israel that the Jewish state will prolong it indefinitely. The context of war perpetuates enormous flow of American money and military assistance, abets continuing illegal confiscation of Palestinian land, and masks the Jewish State's ruined integrity. Will Israel agree to any reasonable peace just because Palestine again achieves a unified government? No way. Not even close. Only force, UN and NATO, actually deploying or credibly th
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