JERUSALEM - The Israeli military has blocked Palestinian agricultural exports through Jordan in the latest escalation of a months-long trade war that comes amid fears of renewed violence in the region over a controversial Middle East plan backed by the United States.
Following Defense Minister Naftali Bennett's instruction, the Israeli military said it would not allow the Palestinians to transfer their products through their land crossing to Jordan, the occupied West Bank's only direct export route to the outside world.
The Western-backed Palestinian Authority said Israeli forces at checkpoints blocked vegetable shipments that were on their way to be exported abroad.
In a statement, the Palestinian Ministry of Agriculture said vegetable exports to Israel were worth $88m last year, comprising 68 percent of the occupied West Bank's overall vegetable exports.
"Yesterday, the director of Israeli crossings informed all exporters and all relevant parties that all Palestinian agriculture products would be banned from export to world markets through the Jordanian crossing starting Sunday," Palestinian Agriculture Minister Riyal al-Attari told Voice of Palestine radio.
The deputy Palestinian economic minister, Tariq Abu Laban, told the Palestinian news agency, WAFA, that the decision to ban the export of Palestinian goods was in response to thhe Palestinian government's decision to ban the import of Israeli calves.(FA)