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Israel approves more exports from Gaza

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israel’s Security Cabinet approved a measure to allow an increase in the exports of goods from the Gaza Strip to the West Bank and abroad.

The decision approved Wednesday was made to assist the coastal strip’s economy and "ease the burden of the Gazan population under the repressive Hamas terrorist regime," according to a statement from the Prime Minister’s Office.

Gaza’s economy expanded by 16 percent with a decrease in unemployment in the first half of 2010, according to a report from the International Monetary Fund.

Gaza has been under a blockade from Israel and Egypt since Hamas came to power in 2007. Israel has eased the blockade since June, allowing more civilian goods into the strip, but has continued to levy restrictions on construction material.

"Parallel to these efforts to improve conditions of the Gaza Strip population," the statement concluded, "Israel calls upon the international community to continue the blockade on the Hamas regime and to implement the policy of the international Quartet, and hereby utilize all means to prevent the continued strengthening and armament of Hamas and other organizations with missiles and weapons aimed at and fired at Israel’s civilian population. This continued armament contravenes international law, harms the interests of the Gazan civilian population and will harm Israel’s ability to continue to ease and improve the wellbeing of the people of Gaza."

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