Palestinian official denies Israeli permit for more items into Gaza
Published: Jun 22, 2009 08:32 AM Updated: May 25, 2011 12:49 PM

A Palestinian official on Sunday denied reports that Israel had increased the types of goods it allowed to enter the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip.

"So far, the Israeli side did not approve any new type of goods to enter," said Nasser al-Sarraj, an official from the Ramallah- based Ministry of Economy, "the products and goods that enter Gaza remain the same."

Local media reports said that Israel had added 20 new items to the list of materials allowed into Gaza.

But today, the first shipment of cattle in nine months is scheduled to cross into Gaza after the Israeli authorities allowed it.

 The 350 heads of cattle are sent after Israel lifted the ban on beef shipments to Gaza for fears of disease spread, since the Gazans turned to smuggle livestock from Egypt without medical monitoring.

 On Friday, the United Nations and a group of international humanitarian organizations called on Israel to lift the blockade which has been imposed on the Gaza Strip since two years ago.

"These indiscriminate sanctions have affected the entire 1.5 million population of Gaza, especially women, children and the elderly," the aid groups said in a joint statement.

"The amount of goods allowed into Gaza under the blockade is one quarter of the pre-blockade flow," the statement said.

Israel said the closure was meant to weaken Hamas, the Islamic resistance movement which took control of the coastal strip in June 2007. 

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