November 28, 2010 - 1:00am

GAZA, Nov. 28 (Xinhua) -- Two trucks, carrying flowers and strawberries, left the Gaza Strip Sunday towards Netherlands as the first limited export from the besieged territory, an official said.
The trucks, with their load of 20,000 roses and five tons of strawberries, left through Kerem Shalom crossing in southeast Gaza. Mahmoud Khalil, a representative of farmers, said the agricultural products would be sold in the European markets, mainly in Holland.

Israel has barred export since 2007, but it is now allowing the seasonal export of Gaza's flora for the second time since then.

Khalil said that Israel was implementing a deal that the Dutch government brokered with Israel, to let the produce of Dutch-funded projects makes its way to Europe.

By the end of the season in February, about 800 tons of strawberries and 300 million flowers are expected to be exported, Khalil said.

Meanwhile, the Palestinian agriculture ministry said it plans for a meeting with Israeli officials to allow more products to be exported from Gaza.

The meeting, which is likely next month, will "look into removing the obstacles that prevent the crops of Gaza from reaching the West Bank markets," said Ismail Duaiq, the agriculture minister.

Israel relaxed the sanctions in June, allowing most of civilian goods into Gaza. It followed global criticism of the siege after Israel killed nine pro-Palestinian Turks on a Gaza-bound aid flotilla in May.


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