Exit of goods from Gaza via Kerem Shalom Crossing
Several main sectors of Gaza’s economy rely on export, including the textile, furniture manufacturing and agriculture industries. During 2005, some 10,000 trucks left Gaza – most of the goods they were carrying were sold in Israel, about a quarter in the West Bank and the rest overseas.
In the 1990s, Israel increasingly began to impose restrictions on the exit of goods from the Gaza Strip and from 2007, as part of its measures against Hamas, Israel almost completely forbade the exit of goods from Gaza to any destination. The exception was a limited number of agricultural products, which Israel approved for export to Europe only, as part of an initiative by the Dutch government. Today, Israel continues to block sale of goods from Gaza in Israel, but since November 6 has begun to allow limited sale of products in the West Bank.
From June 2007 until June 2010, only 255 truckloads of strawberries and flowers left Gaza for Europe, compared to dozens of trucks that left Gaza per-day in the first six months of 2007, and 400 trucks that Israel agreed to let out daily in the Agreement on Movement and Access (AMA). In December 2010, Israel declared it would allow more export from Gaza through the Kerem Shalom Crossing. From the end of November 2010 to the end of April 2011, 287 truckloads of strawberries and flowers left Gaza for Europe, in addition to a minimal quantity of red peppers and cherry tomatoes – in other words, 0.5% of the amount of trucks promised in the AMA. Israel does not allow residents of Gaza to export goods to markets in Israel, the West Bank or Jordan. From January through September 2013, a monthly average of 10 truckloads exited Gaza, which is less than 1% of what exited before the tightening of the closure in June 2007.