- May 7, 2010
- Reaction score
- Political Leaning
Source: The GuardianIsrael agreed tonight to a significant easing of its blockade of Gaza, under intense pressure from the international community after its deadly interception last month of boats attempting to break the siege.
Steps to ease the blockade will be implemented "as quickly as possible", according to a statement issued after a meeting of Israel's security cabinet. Tony Blair, the Middle East peace envoy authorised to broker a deal with the Israeli prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, issued a separate statement covering the same ground but warning that the real test would be "not what is said, but what is done".
The aim of the new policy is to permit "civilian products for the civilian population", Mark Regev, Netanyahu's spokesman, said. It will include:
• A list of prohibited items to be limited to weapons and material - including "dual-use items" - that could be used in manufacturing arms. All other civilian items will be allowed to enter Gaza.
• Building materials for the Palestinian Authority and UN-approved projects to be allowed in.
• Capacity at crossing points to be increased to allow easier access.
• The policy on the movement of people in and out of Gaza to be "streamlined".
This is a good move by Israel from all perspectives and I think they will realize such measures are far more effective at weakening Hamas than the policy of collective punishment.