(JNS.org) Israeli authorities have allowed a limited amount of produce to be exported by Gaza into Israel for the first time in nearly a decade.
Palestinian officials said that approximately 27 tons of tomatoes and five tons of eggplants were cleared to enter Israel, the Associated Press reported.
“Exporting to Israel is better, but insufficient,” one Gaza merchant said.
Before the Hamas takeover of Gaza in 2007, Gazans used to export hundreds of tons of vegetables to Israel on a daily basis.
Efforts to rebuild the Gaza Strip have been slow following last summer’s war there, with some blaming the ongoing standoff between the Palestinian rival factions Hamas and the Fatah-controlled Palestinian Authority for hampering reconstruction. Many Arab countries, preoccupied with other domestic and regional concerns, have been slow to help Gaza. But Qatar said on Tuesday that it has started a project to rebuild 1,000 homes in Gaza as part of a $1 billion aid package.
On Wednesday, it was reported that Hamas, the terrorist group ruling Gaza, had rejected a proposal for a five-year truce with Israel that would have included the lifting of the blockade on Gaza.
The Israeli office of the Coordination of Government Activities in the Territories said that additional vegetables will be exported to Israel at a later date, with about 1,500 tons of Gazan produce expected to be imported by the Jewish state monthly at a value of $770 per ton.