For nearly 8 years Gaza has been almost completely blocked off from not only the world, but the rest of occupied Palestinian territory in the West Bank. Late last year, the Israeli Ministry of Defense (MOD) —let’s not forget anything beyond the Green Line was captured through military means and under international law continues to not be part of Israeli territory, don’t let Congress fool you— partially lifted a not-so-insignificant ban from the myriad restrictions on Gaza. Late last year, for first time since June 2007, Israel started allowing some goods (agricultural at first, and now furniture and textiles) from Gaza to be sold in the West Bank. On its blog the Israeli non-profit Gisha covered the inexplicable MOD response to questions about the thinking behind the ban on Gazan goods to the West Bank. We know what you’re thinking, they’ll claim it’s a security threat. Nope. The long report by the MOD bureau in charge of the territories does not reference security a single time. MOD claims they considered “manufacturing capacity, supply and demand in the relevant markets.” Frankly, we’re stunned. You strangle an economy for 8 years (85% of Gazan goods were previously traded with Israel and the West Bank) and the reason is not security but rather how competitive Israel determines Gazan goods are in West Bank markets? Next thing they’ll tell us is the Israeli government freezing of Palestinian Authority taxes was a rounding error.

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