Israel Blocks Palestinian Exports Amid Trade Crisis

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a palestinian worker checks the expiry date o fruit packets in West Bank. — AFP

RAMALLAH (Agencies) — Israel on Sunday imposed a ban on Palestinian agricultural exports, in a move the Palestinians blasted as a “dangerous” escalation in a five-month trade war.

“Starting from today … export abroad of Palestinian agricultural product through the Allenby crossing will not be allowed,” COGAT, the Israel defence ministry unit that oversees civilian activities in the Palestinian territories, said in a statement.

The Israeli-controlled Allenby border crossing between Jordan and the occupied West Bank is the only route through which Palestinian goods can reach foreign markets.

Moein Ashtiyeh, a Palestinian farmer in the fertile Jordan Valley region, said he had 400 tonnes of dates set for export to Britain, Germany and Turkey, which he is currently unable to sell. “If I can’t export these dates, the Israeli action will cost me 10 million shekels ($2.9 million),” he said.

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