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Gaza: Trade

Volume 470: debated on Tuesday 8 January 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what estimate he has made of the change in the volume of goods moved in and out of the Gaza Strip in the last 12 months. (176155)

The Government do not carry out their own assessments, but rely on information from other bodies including the United Nations Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA). In November 2007, UNOCHA reported that there had been a 44 per cent. drop in the average number of food and animal feed trucks entering monthly into Gaza between the period January to May 2007 and the period June to October 2007.

The Government are extremely concerned by these reductions in imports and exports which are the result of the closure of Gaza's crossings. We call on all sides to assume their responsibilities in ensuring they reopen as soon as possible, and stand ready to provide appropriate assistance. My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for International Development raised the closure of Gaza crossings and its humanitarian impact with the Israeli and Palestinian authorities during his visit in December 2007.

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