Blair cancels Gaza Strip visit
A spokeswoman for Mideast envoy Tony Blair on Tuesday said threats against the former British prime minister have caused him to cancel a planned trip to the Gaza Strip. Ruti Winterstein said Tuesday that "specific threats" were made against Blair. She did not give details.
According to the AP, Blair's visit had been set for Tuesday and was to be his first trip to Gaza Strip since Hamas seized control a year ago. Blair was going to meet with traders and inspect a northern Gaza Strip waste water project being built with international funds.
According to Reuters, an Israeli diplomatic source said Blair was informed by Israeli Defence Minister Ehud Barak "that there was a threat that could materialise as he entered the Gaza Strip". On his part, a Hamas spokesman accused Israel of pressuring Blair to cancel a visit that "would have meant the failure of the siege on Hamas in the Gaza Strip". Hamas officials said earlier the group had taken measures to ensure his safety.