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Israel Allows Clothing, Shoes Into Gaza


Israel has allowed the first commercial shipment of shoes and clothing into the Gaza Strip in almost two years.

Smaller shipments have been allowed to enter Gaza through international aid groups, but Sunday's shipments are the first to reach private traders.

Smugglers have skirted the blockade by bringing in goods though a tunnel under the Egypt-Gaza border.

British-based human rights group Amnesty International called for an end to the blockade in January, saying it is "suffocating" Gaza's 1.4 million residents.

An Israeli military offensive into Gaza in December 2008 to stop cross-border rocket attacks by Hamas militants killed at least 1,300 Palestinians and 13 Israelis.

Some information for this report provided by AP and Reuters.

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