Thursday, October 11, 2012

Where's the coverage? New exports from Gaza and Hamas restrictions on imports

Israel continues to ease restrictions on exports from Gaza, but the media is ignoring it.

Gisha reported in late September:
Today, for the first time since 2007, furniture made in the Gaza Strip was shipped to the West Bank. The merchandise, ordered by the Palestinian Ministry of Education in the West Bank, includes thousands of parts for school chairs and desks. It was transported in four double trailer trucks via the Kerem Shalom crossing.

Earlier this week:
Date bars produced in the Gaza Strip are set to be shipped to the West Bank on Tuesday as Israel reopened the Kerem Shalom crossing after closing it for a Jewish holiday, a Gaza official said.

Crossing official Raed Fattouh told Ma'an that three truckloads of date bars produced in Gaza would be transferred to the West Bank under the supervision of the United Nations World Food Programme.
On the flip aide, Hamas decided to restrict imports of fruit last month:
With the exception of bananas and apples, Gaza is no longer admitting fruit from Israel, the Agriculture Ministry said on Monday. The ban affects at least seven kinds of fruit and, in terms of sales, constitutes around a 50% cut in imports whose 2011 value the ministry put at $26 million.

Gaza fruit importer Jaber Al-Shanty said the Hamas government ban was "irresponsible and unrealistic" as it overlooked the losses to hundreds of Palestinians whose livelihood depends on marketing the fruit.

"The local product is not nearly enough" to offset the shortfall, he said. "What do we have in large quantities, other than guava?"

Since the import ban went into effect on Friday, the price of peaches has doubled to NIS 8 ($2) a kilo, while dates were selling at NIS 11 ($2.81) a kilo, up from NIS 7.
These restrictions are making many Gazans unhappy, and some are accusing Hamas of profiteering by creating shortages of some fruit.

Since these stories contradict the mantra of a choking Israeli siege on Gaza, they are being ignored by the press. Reporting that contradicts memes only confuses the masses, so media outlets are protecting us from knowledge that might cause actual thinking.