The Hamas National Economy Ministry announced restrictions on imports
from Israel to the Gaza Strip. The statement on Feb. 13 cited a ban on
clothing manufacturing in Israel as well as restrictions on food and
"The ban and restrictions apply only to goods manufactured in Israel,"
the statement said.
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Palestinian sources said the Hamas regime has been under pressure from
the powerful smugglers community in the Gaza Strip, Middle East Newsline reported. They said smugglers,
including those close to Hamas leaders, have complained that the flood of
Israeli imports were threatening the tunnel network, one of the biggest
sources of employment in the Gaza Strip. The network was said to include
The National Economy Ministry said Gaza merchants must acquire
government permits to sell household items manufactured in Israel. The list
included tissues, toilet paper, plastic products, juices, cookies and
The statement said products manufactured outside of Israel would be
allowed into the Gaza Strip without restriction. The ministry said the
new measures would continue indefinitely.
This marked the second set of restrictions on Israeli imports this year.
Palestinian sources said the Hamas regime has blocked fuel imports from
Israel and instead was smuggling fuel from neighboring Egypt.