Israel lets 'clothes, shoes' into besieged Gaza for first time

Israel allowed a shipment of clothes and shoes to be delivered to Palestinians in the Gaza Strip for the first time in its almost three-year-old blockade.

Israel lets 'clothes, shoes' into besieged Gaza for first time

Israel allowed a shipment of clothes and shoes to be delivered to Palestinians in the Gaza Strip on Sunday for the first time in its almost three-year-old blockade of the enclave that was devastated by an offensive.

Palestinian officials said the goods arrived in the territory via Israel's Kerem Shalom border crossing. Ten truckloads of clothing and footwear were expected during the day.

Gaza merchants said the shipment would not fill their stocks and demanded Israel release goods long held in its sea ports.

Human rights groups, both international and Israeli, slam Israel’s siege of Gaza, branding it “collective punishment.”

Gaza is still considered under Israeli occupation as Israel controls air, sea and land access to the Strip.

Its long list of banned goods also includes items, such as children's crayons and books.

Gaza has been getting most of its consumer goods via tunnels from neighbouring Egypt.

The Rafah crossing with Egypt, Gaza's sole border crossing that bypasses Israel, rarely opens as Egypt is under immense US and Israeli pressure to keep the crossing shut.

Egypt also is building an underground wall to block the tunnels, which have been frequently bombed by Israeli jets since it launched an offensive in the Gaza Strip 14 months ago that killed some 1500 Palestinians.

Agencies

Güncelleme Tarihi: 05 Nisan 2010, 11:15

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