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2015-03-13 digital edition

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March 13, 2015  RSS feed
Just a Nosh

Text: T T T

Just a nosh...

For first time in nearly 8 years, Israel imports produce from Gaza

JERUSALEM —In an apparent easing of a long-term economic blockade, the first truckloads of tomatoes and eggplants crossed the border from the Gaza Strip to Israel on March 12.

Before the Hamas takeover of Gaza eight years ago, Gaza farmers exported produce to Israel on a daily basis. Until March 12, the only produce that crossed from Gaza to Israel was two truckloads of palm tree shoots used on Sukkot as lulavs.

The decision to bring in produce from Gaza reportedly stems in part from a deficit of homegrown produce due to the shmitta, or biblical fallow year.

Before June 2007, more than 85 percent of all goods shipped from Gaza were sold in Israel and the West Bank, including produce, furniture and textile products.

Kerry calls for return of Robert Levinson, missing in Iran for 8 years

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry marked the eighth year since the disappearance in Iran of Jewish-American Robert Levinson with a plea for his safe return. Kerry in a statement Monday, March 9, called on the government of Iran to “work cooperatively with us on the investigation into his disappearance so we can ensure his safe return.”

Levinson, 67, of Coral Springs, disappeared from Kish Island. The statement said Levinson is one of the longest-held American citizens in history and that he has “spent more than 2,900 days separated from those who love him.”

“We remain concerned about Mr. Levinson’s health given his age and the length of his disappearance,” Kerry said.

His family acknowledged in the last couple of years Levinson, a father of seven, was working for the CIA in a rogue operation at the time of his disappearance. Levinson is a private detective and former FBI agent.

The FBI also increased its reward for information that could lead to Levinson’s safe return to up to $5 million from $1 million.

2 charged for links to Hyper Cacher shooter; store scheduled to reopen

Two men have been charged for their links to the Paris kosher market gunman who killed four Jewish hostages in January. The men, identified as Amar R. and Said M. by the Associated Press, were charged for participating in a terrorist group with intent to commit a crime.

Amar R. exchanged more than 600 text messages with the Hyper Cacher gunman Amedy Coulibaly between September and January. He also met with Coulibaly on Jan. 5 and 6, just days before the Charlie Hebdo shooting on Jan. 7 and Coulibaly’s killing of a French police officer on Jan. 8.

Said M.’s DNA was found on a stun gun Coulibaly had with him on Jan. 9 when he took hostages in the Hyper Cacher market and killed four before being killed by police officers in a raid.

The prosecutor said that Amar R. and Said M. contacted each other more than 1,200 times between February 2014 and January 2015 and met regularly. They also destroyed their phone microchips on Jan. 9, the day of the Hyper Cacher attack.

The kosher supermarket on the edge of Paris was set to reopen Sunday, March 15. Hyper Cacher, which was badly damaged in the attack, has been renovated and restaffed, The Times of Israel reported.

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