GAZA, July 6 (Xinhua) -- The Palestinian Businessmen Association (PBA) demanded on Saturday that Israel lift the ban on raw materials shipment to the Gaza Strip.
"More than 500 various types of raw materials needed to boost economic and industrial sectors are banned by the Israeli occupation," Ali Hayek, chairman of the Gaza-based PBA, said in a press statement.
"It is necessary to lift this ban that has been going on since 2007 in order to revive and boost the Palestinian economy in the Gaza Strip, thus fighting the economic and humanitarian crisis," he added.
According to the PBA chief, the productivity in Gaza has declined by more than 52 percent in the past few years, with nearly 300,000 unemployed people.
On Friday, Israel declared the lift of the ban on the shipment of about 18 kinds of raw materials to Gaza, including agricultural fertilizers and steel nets used for fishing, the Voice of Israel radio station reported.
Israel has been imposing a tight blockade on Gaza, home to 2 million Palestinians, since the summer of 2007 when Hamas violently seized control of the coastal enclave.
In May, Egypt, the United Nations and Qatar brokered a cease-fire deal between Hamas and Israel, the latter of which agreed to ease the tight measures imposed on Gaza and improve the humanitarian situation in the enclave.