Gaza's Hamas-run agriculture ministry threatened on Monday to stop importing Israeli fruit to the Palestinian territory in response to what it said was vegetable exports being blocked, AFP reports.
"If Israel doesn't reverse its decision to halt the export of Palestinian agricultural produce... we will ban the entry of fruit" from Israel, a ministry statement said.
It said Israel on Sunday refused to let through the Kerem Shalom goods crossing some 12 trucks destined for the Palestinian Authority (PA) and Jordan and carrying 135 tons of vegetables worth $149,000 (120,000 euros). The export of farm produce is a key source of income for civilians in Gaza.
It is unclear why Israel would prevent the fruits and vegetables from being exported. The decision also follows Israel recently allowing a ton of fish and crabs and 10 tons of cucumbers to be sent to the PA, for the first time since 2006.
It should be noted that Israel's import and export restrictions on the two crossings into Israel - the Erez crossing and Kerem Shalom crossing - serve primarily to crack down on the transfer of terror materials to the Hamas-run region.
Concerns have been raised that the group will eventually launch another war against Israel using the construction materials imported into the region - as it regularly uses UN and other aid money, as well as materials, to build terror tunnels into Israeli territory with the aim of attacking Israeli citizens in place of reconstruction.
Just last week, Israel allowed Qatar to import 4,000 tons of construction material into Gaza despite the threat, and days after Hamas threatened another war if Gaza were not "rehabilitated" from Operation Protective Edge this summer.