Israel to Ease Gaza Blockade a Smidge

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Photo: Said Khatib/AFP/Getty Images

The Israeli government announced in a statement today that, in the wake of the Mavi Marmara incident and the international outcry that followed, it will "liberalise the system by which civilian goods enter Gaza." Israel hasn't offered specifics, but according to reports, the biggest changes are that all food items and construction materials for internationally supervised projects will be allowed into Gaza. But according to the Times, the policy shift will "not offer a retreat in the restrictions on the passage of people in and out of Gaza, on exports, or on the importation of raw materials for the enclave’s largely paralyzed industries." Consequently, the Palestinians were not impressed, with Hamas (which controls Gaza) claiming the decision was merely meant to "relieve the pressure" on Israel, and the Palestinian Authority (which controls the West Bank) referring to it as a "public-relations ploy."

Israel to Ease Gaza Land Blockade [NYT]
Israel approves plan to ease Gaza blockade [AFP via Google]
Israel to ease Gaza blockade [Guardian UK]