Israel to allow first import of cars to Gaza since 2007

It was not immediately clear how many cars would go into Gaza.

Last Updated: Sep 20, 2010, 11:14 AM IST

Jerusalem: Israel will allow the import of private vehicles into the Gaza Strip for the first time since 2007, the military has said.

The "transfer of vehicles for the Palestinian private sector is expected to take place for the first time since the Hamas violent takeover," the military yesterday said in a statement.

The cars were expected to cross Monday morning into the besieged strip, but it was not immediately clear how many cars would go into Gaza.

Israel began quietly easing its blockade of the Hamas- ruled territory in the spring and started allowing all purely civilian goods to enter after its deadly May 31 seizure of an aid flotilla sparked international outrage.

In the wake of that tragedy which left nine Turkish activists dead, Israel significantly eased its blockade of Gaza, barring only arms and goods that could be used to create weapons or build fortifications, but it has maintained a naval blockade of the Strip.

Israel and neighbouring Egypt first imposed the closures when an Israeli soldier was captured in June 2006 and tightened them when the Islamist Hamas movement -- sworn to Israel`s destruction -- seized power a year later.
PTI