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Israel's 'death sentence' for Gaza's economy

Israel has been revoking the travel and import permits of Gaza merchants and importers, threatening the collapse of Gaza's economy.
A Palestinian policeman stands guard as a truck loaded with fruits and vegetables waits to cross into the Israeli side of the Kerem Shalom crossing in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip  March 12, 2015. Israel imported its first fruit and vegetables from the Gaza Strip in almost eight years on Thursday, in a partial easing of an economic blockade maintained since the Islamist group Hamas seized control of the Palestinian territory. Twenty-seven tonnes of tomatoes and five tonnes of eggplants were trucked acro
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Hundreds of businessmen in the Gaza Strip have been complaining that the Israeli civil administration has increased the rate at which the transit permits allowing them access to Israel are being revoked, resulting in the collapse of their businesses. Maher Tabbaa, director of public relations and media at the Gaza Chamber of Commerce and Industry, told Al-Monitor that the policy could lead to Gaza's total, systemic economic collapse.

“Ever since last year, and especially since [Avigdor] Liberman entered the Defense Ministry [in May], 1,700 permits to enter Israel have been revoked,” Tabbaa claimed. “It started very slowly, but we noticed the trend over a year ago. When a merchant showed up at the Erez border crossing with a valid permit, the authorities confiscated the permit without warning and ordered him to return to Gaza. Over the last few weeks, this has turned into a flood of confiscations. Every merchant thinks that he is next and that they will revoke his permit and destroy his business, just like they did to other merchants.”

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