The Palestinian Ministry of Agriculture in the Gaza Strip on Tuesday approved the transfer of Israeli watermelons into the coastal enclave in an effort to bring down local prices which were driven up by limited supplies.
General Director of marketing and crossings Tahsin al-Saqqa said the fruit entered Gaza via the Kerem Shalom crossing ending an eight-year ban, the Maan News Agency reported.
A shortage of areas cultivated for watermelons in Gaza this year led to reduced crops pushing up prices in the local market.
In 2015 4,500 dunams [1,112 acres] were farmed for watermelon but in 2016 that number dropped to just 3,500 [865 acres].
The ministry said it approved watermelon imports from Israel for a period of three days during which some 1,000 tons were to cross into the Palestinian enclave.
Although Israel maintains a blockade on Gaza to prevent materials which could be used to build the military infrastructure in the Hamas-controlled area, hundreds of trucks bring in supplies through the border crossings per day.