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September 24, 2012 10:37 am

Banana Blockade: Hamas Imposes Ban on Import of Israeli Fruit

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The U.S. designated terrorist group which governs the Gaza Strip, Hamas, has placed a ban on nearly all Israeli fruit imports, according to Reuters, in what it says is a move to increase domestic production.

Produce traders in Gaza, who in the past have bought fruit from Israel and sold it at home, have opposed the move.

“The local product is not nearly enough to offset the shortfall,” Gaza fruit importer Jaber Al-Shanty said. “What do we have in large quantities, other than guava?”

While calling the move “unrealistic”, Al-Shanty noted that advance payments made to Israeli fruit producers by Gaza importers such as himself, would now be in danger.

According to Hamas’ Agricultural Ministry, all fruits from Israel besides bananas and apples will be banned.  The ministry says $26 million worth of fruit sales will be affected by this decision.

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