Hamas stops junk food from entering Gaza


JERUSALEM (JTA) — A day after it was reported that Israel had eased its embargo in order to allow snack foods and sweet drinks into Gaza, Hamas leaders said they would not allow in the items.

The Hamas officials instead called on Israel to allow construction materials into the coastal strip.

Along with the snack foods and sweet drinks, spices and shaving cream also were allowed recently into the coastal strip, Palestinian officials told Reuters Wednesday.

"We want Israel to lift the ban on textile, clothes, office equipment, paper products and school equipment," Palestinian liaison official Raed Fattouh told Reuters. "But mostly we want [Israel] to allow the transfer of cement and iron because these are the really essential materials."

The British Embassy in Israel denied a report Wednesday in the Telegraph that a quid pro quo deal was being planned that would see Israel ease its restrictions on goods allowed into Gaza in return for a moderated stance against Israel over its interception of a Gaza-bound flotilla, which led to violent clashes and the death of nine passengers.

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