Israel to Ease Gaza Blockade

Tony Blair brokers a deal
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 16, 2010 9:53 AM CDT
An Israeli soldier checks his watch at a checkpoint on the Israel side of the border with Gaza Wednesday, Jan. 7, 2009.   (AP Photo/Anja Niedringhaus)
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(Newser) – Israel is expected to agree to a deal brokered by Tony Blair to loosen up its much-reviled Gaza blockade today. Under the plan, Israel will create a list of prohibited goods, rather than a narrow list of approved goods that can pass its blockade, and that prohibited list won’t include building materials for UN-sponsored projects, the Guardian reports. Israel may also allow EU monitors to watch its checkpoints.

“We must understand that the blockade implemented until this time is outdated,” one Israeli cabinet member told Israeli Army Radio. Blair said the deal would keep weapons out of Gaza, “but on the other hand help the Palestinian population there.” A UN spokesman wasn’t satisfied. “Given the scale of the humanitarian task, we need to see the blockade ultimately lifted, not eased,” he said.

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