Israel will partially resume purchasing fruit and vegetables from the Gaza Strip this week after a long halt on imports since Hamas took over the Palestinian coastal enclave in 2007.
Israeli officials said the resumption will help rehabilitate the Gazan economy, which was heavily damaged during last summer’s Operation Protection Edge. It will also make up for a current shortage in domestic produce coming from Israeli farms.
Jamal Abu al-Naja, director of the Gaza Vegetable Production and Export Association, expressed support for the decision and said it “will help farmers make up for their losses, increase the number of workers, and encourage investment in the agricultural sector,” Reuters reported.
COGAT, the Israeli military agency that manages Israeli civilian relations with Gaza but does not engage with Hamas, also welcomed the decision.
“The steps taken are meant to support the Palestinian population while segregating the Hamas organization, which is a terror entity that prevents the reconstruction of Gaza and uses its resources,” COGAT head Major-General Yoav Mordechai said.