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Hamas ends boycott of Israeli products in Gaza

Destruction of Gazan industry and need for tax revenues bring Israeli products back to Gazan shelves

Gulf News

Ramalalh: The Islamist movement Hamas, which rules Gaza, has decided to open the Gazan markets for Israeli products, effectively ending its boycott of Israeli products.

Emad Al Baz, the Assistant Undersecretary of the Ministry of National Economy in Gaza said that the latest Israeli war on Gaza has destroyed thousands of local factories which dramatically suffered and the Israeli products have ended up the only possible solution to meet the shortages in the local markets of Gaza.

He stressed in a statement that the destruction of Gaza has seriously affected both the quantity and quality of the local products, and in order to keep Gaza’s local market operative the decision to allow the Israeli products in was taken. He said that the decision was meant to ensure that all kinds of products should be available in Gaza, adding that the Palestinian Ministry of National Economy in collaboration with the Ministry of Finance have imposed taxes on Israeli products to protect Gaza’s own industry.

Al Baz said that the taxes would be fundamentally important that will cover the ministry’s operative expenses and the decision to allow the Israeli products is a mere creative tool to come up with extra funds.

Analysts in Gaza said that the Israeli products are already too expensive to buy, needless to mention the extra fees which Hamas will impose and that would make living conditions harder for the Gazans whose lives would get further complicated.

Talal Okal, a Gaza based analyst said that Gaza did not need to end the boycott. “Israel will tremendously gain financially and politically where allowing the Israeli products into Gaza signals the Israeli intention to separate Gaza from the West Bank and end the Gaza-West Bank relationship,” he told Gulf News. “What is right is to open the West Bank market to Gaza and vise versa and no need for Israel in this sole Palestinian equation.” He stressed that the two wings of the Palestinians territories can cover the needs of each other without the need for Israeli products.

He said that when Gaza needs, it should import from the West Bank which should in turn import from Gaza when needed. “Instead of the West Bank there is always Israel to meet Gaza needs and that is definitely catastrophic for the Palestinian public and cause,” he said.

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