GAZA, Feb. 14 (Xinhua) -- Traders and businessmen in the Gaza Strip announced Wednesday to halt imports from Israel in protest against the Israeli siege imposed on the strip since 2007.
Meanwhile, tens of truck drivers blocked the roads near the Kerem Shalom crossing into Israel, the main entry point for imports into Gaza, in a protest organized by private sector associations.
Head of Gaza's trade Chamber Waleed al-Husari said in an statement that the local economy has reached an unprecedented level of decline.
Al-Husri, accused of exerting "more pressure and taking many steps against traders, businessmen, industrialists, and contractors and turning a large number of them to the security blackmail."
Four weeks ago, private sector companies in Gaza organized a general strike to protest economic conditions in the strip.
The statement pointed out that Israel withdrew and prevented the permits of more than three thousand merchants and businessmen, as well preventing the entry of many raw materials for the industrial sector in the coastal enclave.
The statement stressed that the private sector in Gaza has been subjected to a massive siege since 2007, collective punishment and three devastating wars, the last of which took place in 2014.
He called for the cessation of the Israeli policies and measures against merchants and businessmen in Gaza, and to ensure the unconditional entry of building materials for the reconstruction sector.
Gaza suffers from around 40 percent unemployment and more than two-thirds of its two million residents rely on international aid, according to the United Nations.