Israel Authorizes Gaza Exports
Israel on Monday allowed goods to be exported out of the Gaza Strip for the first time since the cessation of last month’s hostilities between the Israeli military and Hamas. Limited amounts of agricultural produce will be delivered to the West Bank and overseas, while a one-time export of textile materials will be transferred into Israel itself, per the insistence of Israeli businesses which require the import. Following May’s week-and-a-half-long operation, Guardian of the Walls, Israel’s Defense Minister Benny Gantz announced that any assistance to the coastal enclave, apart from basic humanitarian aid, would be conditioned on an advancement in talks over a prisoner swap with Hamas, the group designated a terror organization by Israel, the United States and the European Union, which controls Gaza. The Palestinian territory’s authorized fishing area in the Mediterranean Sea also was reopened by Israeli authorities after the intense fighting died down in mid-May, as well as the border crossings into and from Israel for international aid workers, foreign press and Gaza residents seeking urgent medical treatment in Israel.