Israel allows commercial goods into Gaza

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The Independent Online

Gaza border official says Israel has allowed a commercial shipment of shoes and clothes into the blockaded Palestinian territory for the first time since 2007.

Raed Fattouh says 10 truckloads of shoes and clothes entered the Hamas-run strip Sunday. He says many of the goods were damaged after more than two years in storage.

It was the first non-humanitarian shipment of such items, though an Israeli army spokesman says Israel allows such items into Gaza occasionally as part of UN-coordinated aid shipments.

Gaza has been under a strict Israeli and Egyptian blockade since Hamas seized control of the area in 2007. There are shortages of many basic goods and merchants rely on smuggling tunnels under the Egyptian border.