Palestinian PM: Israeli sanctions starting to bite

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Also Sunday, Gaza farmers began the seasonal export of produce to Europe.

Israel has banned most exports from Gaza since Hamas seized the territory, but it has permitted seasonal shipments of strawberries, cut flowers and other agricultural goods.

A truckload of strawberries left Gaza to launch the season, which is to run through May.

The number of exports is well above last year’s levels.

Before the Hamas takeover, 85 percent of Gaza’s outgoing goods were sold in Israel and the West Bank, according to Gisha, an Israeli human rights group that lobbies on behalf of easing Palestinian travel restrictions.

According to Gisha’s statistics, about 83 percent of Gaza’s factories are idle or operating at 50 percent or less capacity. Unemployment is officially listed at 28 percent.

Associated Press writer Ibrahim Barzak in Gaza City, Gaza, contributed to this article.



Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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