Israel has agreed to allow the export of some Gaza manufactured cabinet works and home furniture to Israel, the Occupied Palestinian Territories and some European countries.
Timber and woodworking store owners have expressed their joy at this step forward but have also expressed reservations about Israeli recalcitrance and their hope that it will not shilly-shally and procrastinate or impose impossible restrictions on them in the future.
Mr Ali Al-Hayek, head of the Industries General Union, pointed out that there is nothing to justify the arguments and pretexts used by the Occupation to prevent entry of the various requisites of industry production into the Gaza Strip, or to hinder the export of its products once they have undergone security checks. He pointed out that during a recent meeting the private sector had called on Middle East Envoy, Tony Blair, to explain the actual content of the Middle East Quartet document and to intervene to ensure that all products manufactured in Gaza are not hindered from export.
Owners of industry in the Gaza Strip have stressed their rejection of Israeli attempts to assign certain international organisations the role of administering the siege by only allowing goods needed for reconstruction to be brought into the Strip by the international organisations carrying out various projects. They also demanded the complete lifting of the siege and for the movement of trade to be allowed in both directions.
MEMO Photographer: Mohammed Asad