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Israel has lifted its blockade of the Gaza Strip to allow
Israel has lifted its blockade of the Gaza Strip to allow the export of Valentine's Day flowers from the enclave, an Israeli Defense Ministry spokesman told RIA Novosti on Thursday.

Peter Lerner said that 25,000 carnations were to be exported from the conflict-devastated enclave to Europe by Saturday - Valentine's Day. The decision to temporarily lift the blockade was made after a request by the Netherlands.

"The last time exports were allowed [from the Gaza Strip] was about this time last year," Lerner said.

Israel's blockade of the Gaza Strip was imposed after the radical Islamic Hamas group seized control of the enclave of 1.5 million in the summer of 2007.

In January, more than 1,300 Palestinians were killed during Israel's three-week military operation in Gaza, which was aimed at stopping rocket and mortar fire into southern Israel from the enclave.


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