Israel bans cloths, shoes into Gaza

GAZA, Oct. 29 – Israel removed cloths and shoes from the list of goods that were allowed into Gaza Strip after Egypt brokered a ceasefire there, a Palestinian official said on Wednesday. Ali al-Hayek, head of Industries Federation, said the Israeli occupation prevented these sorts of goods from entering Gaza Strip “since they could be used in producing military uniforms.”

“The new decision to bar cloths and shoes exacerbates the lack of winter cloths and complicates the situation ahead of the Greater Bairam” feast which falls in December, al-Hayek added.

Israel imposed a siege on Gaza Strip in 2006 after Hamas won parliamentary elections and tightened the closure last year in response to Hamas’ violent takeover of security installations in the coastal strip.

In June this year, Egypt brokered a six-month ceasefire between Hamas and Israel to ease the blockade in exchange for calmness and Israel gradually started to expand the list of goods that can now enter Gaza.

Hamas says Israel still limits the flow of cargo into Gaza despite the calmness.

Meanwhile, a report by the Palestinian Trade Center said the number of truckloads that are allowed into Gaza was on decrease. “The daily average of the trucks that entered through Kerem Shalom crossing last week was estimated at 42, compared to 65 in previous weeks.”

Al-Hayek also said that Israel did not meet promises to keep sending the reduced amount of cement. Israel allows only 200 tons to enter Gaza every day but has ceased since nearly four weeks. “The withheld amount of cement is estimated at 8,000 tons,” he said.

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