Israel allowed export of three truckloads of tomatoes from Gaza to Saudi Arabia on Monday but banned the trucks from unloading in Israel and the West Bank, where their natural markets are. Despite the fact that on their way to Saudi Arabia, the trucks will pass through Israel and the West Bank, Israel continues to ban sale of goods from Gaza in these areas as part of its "Separation Policy".
The policy has kept export from Gaza at minimal levels – one truckload per day on average last year – because of high shipping costs and low demand abroad. In the months prior to the June 2007 ban on selling goods to Israel and the West Bank, Gaza residents exported 90 truckloads per day on average.
The tomatoes belong to Abed Al Rauf Abu Safar, a resident of Gaza who owns the Abu Safar Company for export of fruits and vegetables. Before 2007, Abu Safar sold hundreds of truckloads of vegetables each year, mostly to Israel and the West Bank. Because of the high costs of shipping to Saudi Arabia and long delays at the Kerem Shalom Crossing, Abu Safar says it is likely he will lose money on the venture, his first attempt since the 2007 ban. more
Palestinian sources report that the “Miles Of Smiles 9” aid and solidarity convoy made it into the coastal region through the Rafah Border Terminal, between Gaza and Egypt.
Convoy Coordinator, Isam Yousef, stated that 64 solidarity activist from Bahrain, Tunisia, Jordan, Britain, South Africa and Egypt crossed into the coastal region carrying medical supplies and equipment estimated by $2.7 Million, including a number of ambulances and power generators for hospitals.
It is worth mentioning that the Miles of Smiles 8 convoy managed to enter Gaza on January 14 this year carrying 48 human rights activists, two tons of medical sullies, in addition to 120 scooters for the physically challenged. more
SALFT, February 6, 2012 (WAFA) – Israeli authorities Monday handed demolition notices to a number of Palestinians in the village of Hares, northwest of Salfit in the northern West Bank, according to Omar Samara, head of the village council.
He told WAFA that the houses threatened to be demolished are in an area that is supposed to accommodate the natural growth of the village and adjacent to residents’ houses. more