Watermelons (illustration)
Watermelons (illustration) Flash 90

The Palestinian Ministry of Agriculture in Gaza on Tuesday allowed watermelon imports from Israel for the first time in eight years, the general director of marketing and crossings at the ministry said, according to Ma’an.

Watermelons from Israel were forbidden to enter Gaza due to a Palestinian-imposed ban, the news agency said.

Tahsin al-Saqqa told Ma’an the watermelons entered via the Kerem Shalom crossing between Gaza and Israel and were allowed passage following a shortage of planted areas in Gaza, leading to a price increase in the local market.

The ministry decided to allow the entrance of watermelon for three days in order to lower the prices in Gaza’s local market, al-Saqqa added.

He told Ma’an that some 1,000 tons of watermelons would be expected to cross into the enclave over the coming three days.

Gaza’s Hamas rulers have in the past decided to “punish” Israel by stopping the imports of Israeli fruit to Gaza in protest of Israel preventing vegetables from Gaza from entering Judea and Samaria at the Kerem Shalom crossing.

Israel continues to regularly allow humanitarian aid and construction materials into Gaza, even though its terrorist rulers continue to attack southern Israel with rockets and threaten to destroy the Jewish state.

Last year, Israeli authorities opened the Kerem Shalom crossing into Gaza and allowed 700 truckloads of goods to enter the region, even as the UN’s envoy to the Middle East, Nickolay Mladenov, blamed Israel’s “blockade” of Gaza for the slow pace of the region’s reconstruction following Operation Protective Edge in 2014.