Israel to Ease Gaza Land Blockade
Bowing to international demands, Israel will ease its land blockade over the Gaza Strip. In a statement released by the prime minister's office, Israel has decided to expand the number of items permitted to enter Gaza, particularly construction materials vital to reconstruction projects.
"It was agreed to liberalize the system by which civilian goods enter Gaza (and) expand the inflow of materials for civilian projects that are under international supervision," the official statement said, without indicating any product list. The security cabinet, which began its discussions on Wednesday on easing the embargo, said that "existing security procedures to prevent the inflow of weapons and war materiel" would persist.
The announcement did not reference to Israel's sea blockade that will be maintained. The decision comes after last month's Israeli raid on a Gaza-bound aid flotilla that left nine Turkish activists dead. Pressure to ease the blockade intensified following the raid.