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Palestinian Ministry of Agriculture in Gaza bans import of Israeli fruits

July 11, 2018 2:32 P.M. (Updated: July 12, 2018 11:46 A.M.)
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- The Palestinian Ministry of Agriculture in Gaza decided on Wednesday to ban the importation of Israeli fruits through the Kerem Shalom commercial crossing in response to the Israeli authorities ban on exporting vegetables from besieged Gaza to the occupied West Bank and abroad.

Tahseen al-Sakka, marketing director of the Ministry of Agriculture, said that the decision was made to pressure Israel after its recent decision to ban exports from Gaza.

Sakka added that the closure of the crossing and the ban on the export of vegetables have had an economic impact on Gaza farmers, who have suffered great losses.

He said that the Ministry's decision to prevent the import of fruits from Israel will negatively affect Israeli farmers and inflict heavy economic losses.

Prior to the recent Israeli decision, the Gaza Strip would import about 20 truckloads of 200 tons of fruit from Israel per day, while Gaza exported only 200 tons of vegetables daily.

Last week, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu took a decision to temporarily suspend imports and exports with the exception of basic humanitarian supplies through the Kerem Shalom crossing in Gaza.

Israel imposed severe economic sanctions on the besieged Gaza Strip, after four months of continuous launching of incendiary kites and explosive balloons from the strip into southern Israel, which has scorched thousands of acres of land along the borders.

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