Israel to ease ban on only clothes, shoes into Gaza: Palestinians

Israel will ease a ban on a clothes and shoes to be delivered to Palestinians in Gaza for the first time in 3-year-old heavy blockade, Palestinian officials said.

Israel to ease ban on only clothes, shoes into Gaza: Palestinians

Israel will ease a ban on 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 heavy blockade of the enclave, Palestinian officials said on Monday.

They said the first 10 truckloads would be arriving via the Israeli-controlled Gaza border point on Thursday.

Israel is under international pressure to relax its blockade, which the United Nations says punishes Gaza's 1.5 million civilian people.

Its long list of controlled goods also includes items that critics say have no apparent military value, such as children's crayons and books.

Before the blockade took effect, an average of 400 truckloads of supplies used to get into Gaza on a daily basis. Now, it rarely exceeds 80 trucks irregularly, according to the Palestinians.

Gaza merchants said 10 truckloads would not fill their stocks and demanded that Israel release goods long held in its sea ports.

Egypt is building an underground wall to block the tunnels, which have been frequently bombed by the Israeli air forces since Israel's offensive against Hamas 14 months ago.

Gazas economy is dependent on the tunnels, increasingly under attack by both Israeli and Egyptian forces. Tens have been killed in the underground system over the past months, and dozens more over the nearly three years of Gaza siege. The industry remains, however, the only growing work opportunity in Gaza.

Israel launched on Dec. 27 a massive offensive in Gaza, killing more than 1434 Palestinians, a third of them children, and wounded at least 5300.

In its land, sea and ar offensive, Israel targeted hospitals, schools, mosques and government buildings and destroyed infrastructure system in Gaza, lefting Palestinians without electricity, gas and power.

But Israel imposes heavy blockade on entry of infrastracture materials under the pretext of Palestinians can use them as "weapon" materials.

Hamas wants Israel and Egypt to reopen all Gaza's border crossings so that people and goods can move freely. Gaza has been under heavy blockade for most of the time since Hamas took power there in June 2007.

Reuters

Güncelleme Tarihi: 30 Mart 2010, 08:00
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