Israel to Allow Shoes Into Gaza Strip After Three-Year Ban

According to Palestinian officials, the Israeli government has made
one of its most significant revisions to the Gaza blockade in three
years, allowing the importation of shoes and certain types of clothes
into the tiny enclave.

Israel has not allowed any shoes to be legally brought into the Gaza
Strip since 2007, and officially cemented the ban in 2008 under the
claim that shoes were a ‘dual use technology.’ This argument was based
on claims that since militaries wear shoes as part of their uniforms,
any shoes imported into the strip might be used as part of a military
uniform. This same argument was made in the banning of many types of

For those who could afford it, this meant having to import shoes by
way of the tunnels into Egypt, which regularly come under Israeli
bombardment because they allow the importation of banned goods, from
shoes to iPods to cars. For Gaza’s poor however, importation is not an
option and they must make do with what they have or go without.

Officials say that the move is a concession by the Israeli
government after pressure from the Obama Administration. The shoes will
be allowed in later in the week, after the Passover holiday blockade is
lifted. It is unclear if the move signals a semi-permanent end to the
ban on shoes, or if the shipment will be a one-shot deal


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