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      Gaza Exports Carnations, Receives Thousands of Tons of Aid

      Gaza residents received 14,000 tons of humanitarian aid via Israeli crossings last week, and exported truckloads of flowers - at special prices.
      By Hana Levi Julian
      First Publish: 3/2/2010, 12:34 PM / Last Update: 3/2/2010, 12:48 PM

      Israel news photo

      Palestinian Authority residents of Hamas-run Gaza received 13,976 tons of humanitarian aid through Israeli crossings last week alone, while commercial business owners exported ten truckloads of carnations from the region to Europe.

      According to the IDF and the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT), 255 medical patients and their escorts crossed into Israel and traveled to Israeli and Palestinian Authority areas for medical treatment. In addition, 222 staff members of international organizations crossed through the terminal in the opposite direction, entering Gaza from Israel. Most of the human traffic traveling into and out of the region passes through the Erez Crossing.

      Medical supplies and other non-food essentials shipped to the region included a CT scanner, medical supplies, hygiene products, 1,216,297 liters of diesel fuel and 992 tons of cooking gas. Among the food items loaded on to the 595 trucks that made their way through the various crossings were cartons of milk powder, baby food, rice, cooking oil and flour.

      Gaza Exporting Carnations at Lovely Price
      The carnations exported to Europe last week by Gaza business owners reached their markets at a favorable price - unlike Jewish produce formerly sold to the same outlets by business owners who live in Judea and Samaria.

      The European Union's High Court ruled last month that Judea and Samaria are not part of Israel, and thus goods produced by Israeli Jews living in those regions are subject to EU customs import duties. However, ruled the court, Israel and the Palestinian Authority are not subject to those same tariffs, because the EU has signed different accords with both.

      The court determined that the EU contract “applies to the territory of the State of Israel,” and that the contract with the PA applies to “the territories of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip,” according to a report by the Associated Press.