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Gaza exporting flowers for Valentine's Day

Gaza will ship its first exports in over a year this week. Israel has agreed to a temporary lifting of its blockade on the territory so that flower-growers can ship 25,000 carnations to Europe in time for Valentine's Day at the request of the Dutch government. For the head of Gaza's flower growers association, the gesture is too little too late:

Mr Khalil said Gaza used to export as many as 40 million flowers a year, so he dismissed the shipment of 25,000 carnations as "insignificant".

"We had to feed the flowers to the animals because we couldn't export them," he said.

"We are afraid of losing our reputation in Europe and are afraid to plan ahead."

For more on the miracle of globalization that is the international flower industry, check out Amy Stewart's 2007 FP article, "Flower Power."

SAID KHATIB/AFP/Getty Images

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