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Second Israeli bank shuns Gaza

A second Israeli bank cut off business ties with the Gaza Strip.

Israel Discount Bank, the country’s third-largest bank, announced Wednesday that it will no longer deal with banks in the Hamas-run territory. The Olmert government declared the territory an “enemy entity” last month.

Israel’s biggest bank, Hapoalim, already had ceased dealing with Gaza.

The sanctions stymie attempts by the Palestinian Authority to pay its employees in Gaza, as such transactions are in shekels. Israeli currency is also used to pay for many goods imported to Gaza.

Israel wants to apply economic pressure on Hamas in an attempt to stop the Islamist group’s cross-border rocket fire from Gaza.

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