Palestinian Authority Resumes Import-Export Operations with Israel
The Palestinian Authority announced Saturday that it was resuming import and export operations through Israel, which it suspended Wednesday in protest at a go-slow strike by Israel officials.
"We have reached an agreement with Israel which will make it possible to resume import and export operations and to reopen commercial crossing points," both in Erez, between Israel and the Gaza Strip, and in the autonomous towns of the West Bank, Nasser al-Sarraj, director general of the Palestinian economy and trade ministry, told AFP.
He said he had obtained "an assurance that the strike by Israeli civilian personnel would no longer hold up the transit procedures."
Israeli civilian staff at the Erez crossing point have been on a go-slow since the beginning of last month in support of pay demands.
The Palestinian economy has suffered huge losses because of delays in obtaining the necessary permits for imports and for Palestinian trucks to enter Israel with products destined for export.
Sarraj said Wednesday that more than 100 million dollars in Palestinian merchandise -- much of it perishable -- was blocked at Israeli ports and airports, incurring storage fees.
Under the 1993 Palestinian-Israeli autonomy accords, Israel controls the borders of the Gaza Strip and West Bank, and Palestinian trade depends on obtaining the necessary permits from the Israeli authorities - GAZA CITY (AFP)
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