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Gaza exports restarted for the first time since the war

September 30, 2014 at 10:32 am

The Gaza Strip started exporting its produce to foreign markets on Sunday, especially to the European Union, an official said yesterday.

In a telephone interview with the Anadolu news agency, the general director of marketing and crossings in the Gaza Ministry of Agriculture Tahsin Al-Sakka said: “Thirty tonnes of sweet potatoes were exported to the EU. This is the first time Gaza has exported its produce since July 8.”

He added that further agricultural crops will be exported in the coming months including flowers and spices, pointing out that large areas of agricultural land were subjected to significant damage during the recent Israeli military operation on the Gaza Strip.

Prior to the war, the Strip exported strawberries, flowers, tomatoes, potatoes, and spices, which are products known for their sector, via the Kerem Shalom crossing.

Al-Sakka said that there are more than 1,200 acres of land growing sweet potatoes and the current exports are only a small portion of the produce.

The Gaza Strip is awaiting the conference to be held by international donors to help with the reconstruction of the areas damaged during the recent Israeli aggression. The Strip hopes to provide a blueprint for the advancement of the agricultural sector in the Gaza Strip, and to restore exports to the levels they were prior to the blockade.

The Palestinian Ministry of Agriculture estimates that there have been $550 million in losses to the agricultural sector in the Gaza Strip due to the Israeli war.