Hamas Collects Taxes on Food Imports from Israel

[Reuters] Nidal al-Mughrabi - Since the Islamists took over Gaza in June, Israel has shut the main commercial crossing at Karni, citing security concerns. That left the Sufa crossing, where, in the absence of formal Israeli-Palestinian coordination, goods from Israel are offloaded during the morning and then Palestinian merchants are allowed in to pick up the cargo and take it to market. Merchants said they can't get their products to market without first paying 2,000 shekels ($465) in fees to Hamas, despite a decree by Mahmoud Abbas exempting individuals and companies from paying such taxes. "(Abbas) is not here. Hamas is here and they say pay and load your trucks - so we pay," said Gaza produce dealer Mohammad Attaweel.

2007-08-08 01:00:00

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