Thursday, December 4, 2008

Bank crisis in Gaza even though Israel eases blockade

From the BBC:

Israel has allowed some humanitarian aid into the Gaza Strip, easing its blockade of the Hamas-controlled Palestinian territory.

Forty truckloads of food and medicines entered the strip, and fuel supplies were pumped to Gaza's only power plant, according to Palestinian officials.

Foreign journalists are also being allowed through, Israel said.

Israel recently tightened its economic blockade of Gaza amid regular border clashes with Palestinian militants.

The office of the Israeli defence minister, Ehud Barak, said the decision to allow some aid into Gaza was a goodwill gesture ahead of the forthcoming Muslim festival of Eid al-Adha.

Meanwhile banks across the Gaza Strip have been shutting down because of what they say is a cash shortage caused by the Israeli blockade.

The Palestinian Prime Minister, Salam Fayyad, has urged Israel to allow a cash shipment to Gaza.

He said thousands of civil servants would not be paid this month unless it does so. Israel said the request was being considered.

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