Ma'an News Agency
March 31, 2011 - 12:00am

Israel has opened registration for manufacturers in Gaza to export goods to Europe, officials said Thursday.

Registration is open for clothing and furniture merchants prepared to export, an official from the goods coordination committee said.

Israel imposed a blockade on Gaza in 2007 after Hamas seized control of the coastal enclave.

The state has defied calls that it lift the siege to allow for rebuilding structures destroyed in a three-week assault that began in late 2008, citing Hamas' continued detention of an Israeli soldier.

In late March, a Tel Aviv court ruled that Israel's Defense Ministry must reveal a "red lines document" showing the names of officials enforcing the closure, the Israeli human rights group Gisha said.

Gisha petitioned the court in October requesting that the Defense Ministry and Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories disclose their policy pertaining to the transfer of civilian goods to the Gaza Strip.

The petition sought to dispel the secrecy surrounding the procedures and criteria according to which Israel decides which goods can enter Gaza, and compel the state to publicize them, Gisha said.

COGAT representatives did not return calls seeking comment.


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