Thursday, June 17, 2010

Israel to ease Gaza land blockade due to international pressure.

Ever since the Israeli attack on the freedom flotilla I have been saying that I didn't see how the siege of Gaza could possibly continue. Now even the Israeli cabinet appear to accept that international pressure means they will have to ease the blockade.

Israel's security cabinet voted Thursday to ease its land blockade of the Gaza Strip, following an international outcry over its deadly raid on a humanitarian aid flotilla bound for the Hamas-ruled territory.

"It was agreed to liberalize the system by which civilian goods enter Gaza [and] to expand the inflow of materials for civilian projects that are under international supervision," an official statement said, without specifying any product list.

The announcement appeared to indicate that Israel would allow international organizations, such as the United Nations, to import previously banned building materials, vital to reconstruction after the December 2008-January 2009 Gaza war.

Of course, the Israelis are being spectacularly vague about just what goods they will now allow in, and the devil will be in that detail. So, it's a victory of sorts, but we don't yet know how much of the pain currently being inflicted on the people of Gaza is going to be lifted.

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