Rassegna Stampa Elezioni Israeliane 2009

Monitoraggio attraverso i media internazionali delle elezioni in Israele del Febbraio 2009

Israel opens the Gaza border for 25,000 carnations, bound for Europe

Posted by claudiacampli su 13 febbraio, 2009

Friday, February 13, 2009

JERUSALEM: Just in time for Valentine’s Day, Israel allowed the export of a shipment of flowers from Hamas-run Gaza on Thursday for the first time in about a year, Israeli officials said. The flowers, destined for Europe, are hardly a token of affection between Israel and the Islamic rulers of the Palestinian enclave, but they could portend a possible thaw in commercial relations in the context of a cease-fire.

The shipment of 25,000 carnations passed through the Kerem Shalom cargo terminal on the Israel-Gaza border at the Dutch government’s request, according to Major Peter Lerner, a spokesman for the Israeli Defense Ministry agency that handles Palestinian civilian affairs. They are scheduled to be flown from Ben-Gurion Airport on Friday.

Gaza does not have a functioning airport or seaport, and it has no commercial crossing on its border with Egypt, so all exports have to pass through Israel.

When asked about the potential for additional exports, Lerner said, “There are no further activities scheduled, but we will be reviewing the situation from time to time.”

“Basically it is a Palestinian decision — whether they want to send flowers or rockets,” he said.

The gesture came less than a month after Israel ended its 22-day military offensive against Hamas in Gaza, which Israeli officials said was primarily intended to stop the firing of rockets into southern Israel. There has been a trickle of rocket and mortar fire since both sides began separate cease-fires on Jan. 18. Egypt is trying to broker broader understandings for a mutual cease-fire.

The main demand by Hamas is for an opening of the Gaza border crossings and the lifting of the embargo that Israel has imposed on the area since the Hamas takeover in June 2007. The blockade has crushed Gaza’s economy.

Israel permits a flow of humanitarian aid into Gaza and recently increased the amount of goods going in to up to 200 truckloads a day. But almost no exports have been allowed.

In November 2007, Israel announced that it would allow the export of some agricultural produce from Gaza, mainly flowers and strawberries destined for Europe. That move was part of an effort to create a positive atmosphere leading up to the American-sponsored peace gathering at Annapolis, Maryland, later that month.

The exports were cut short in 2008 by repeated attacks by Palestinian militants on the border crossings. Lerner said the last shipment of flowers was before Valentine’s Day last year.

Gaza used to export about 60 million flowers a year.

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Una Risposta to “Israel opens the Gaza border for 25,000 carnations, bound for Europe”

  1. claudiacampli said

    Curioso…la “diplomazia dei fiori”…

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