AMSTERDAM (Jun. 7)
The direct export of Arab-grown citrus fruit from the Gaza Strip to the European market has been less than successful for the second season since it began.
European importers suffered heavy losses, Rotterdam importer Marc van Overkleeft said as the 1989-90 season neared its end.
The problem was the poor quality of much of the fruit and its poor packing, which resulted in large quantities of the Gaza produce arriving in a damaged condition.
During the first season, 1988-89, the failure was attributed to insufficient quantities of fruit shipped from Gaza.
The direct export of Arab-grown agricultural products became a major political issue in the European Community in recent years.
The 12 E.C. member states put severe pressure on Israel and even threatened it with sanctions unless the Arab produce was sent to Europe without being channeled through Israel’s official agricultural export agencies.
The Israelis relented. But now, the six European importing nations are having second thoughts. They would like to continue buying the Gaza fruit, but on a strictly commercial basis without incurring losses.