Israel on Thursday allowed Palestinian farmers to ship produce from the blockaded Gaza Strip to the West Bank, via Israeli territory, for the first time since 2007.
The news came days after Egypt shut it border with Gaza, leaving the Strip completed isolated from the world as Egypt accelerated its plans to create a buffer zone on the Sinai-Gaza border, after a deadly terror attack linked to Hamas.
Israeli authorities said such shipments, which were halted after Hamas seized the Gaza Strip seven years ago, were aimed at spurring economic recovery in the impoverished enclave, after a seven-week war last summer.
A Palestinian official said a truckload of cucumbers destined for the West Bank was moved through Israel's Kerem Shalom crossing point with the Gaza Strip.
COGAT, an Israeli military authority coordinating the shipments, said in a statement that 10 metric tons of cucumbers were dispatched to the Hebron area in the West Bank, with a metric ton of fresh fish from the Gaza Strip expected to follow on Sunday.
No additional shipments were announced and the Palestinian official said it was unclear whether any would be made in the coming week.
Citing security concerns, Israel largely restricts the movement of people and goods through its border with Gaza. It has allowed the export of Gaza-grown strawberries, flowers, mint and basil to Europe in limited quantities.
Since the Gaza conflict, which caused heavy damage to infrastructure and dwellings in the territory, international calls have mounted for Israel and Egypt to lift their border blockades and facilitate reconstruction.
More than 2,100 Palestinians, most of them civilians, were killed in the conflict, the Palestinian Health Ministry said. Israel put its death toll at 67 soldiers and six civilians.