Israel Eases Gaza Blockade

Ban on weapons remains in force
By M. Morris,  Newser Staff
Suggested by Disillusioned
Posted Jun 20, 2010 1:55 PM CDT
Major General Yohanan Locker, the Israeli military secretary, consults with PM Benjamin Netanyahu during the weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem, Sunday, June, 20, 2010.   (AP Photo/Gali Tibbon, Pool)
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(Newser) – Israel will allow goods to enter Gaza by land but will continue to ban the importation of weapons and will maintain its naval blockade on the area, CNN reports. Rather than listing what's allowed in, Israel will permit everything other than " weapons and material that Hamas uses to prepare and carry out terror ," PM Benjamin Netanyahu tells Reuters. The move comes 3 weeks after Israeli troops stormed aid ships and 10 pro-Palestinian activists died.

The US and Middle East envoy Tony Blair sounded cautiously optimistic about the policy change. "There is more to be done, and the president looks forward to discussing this new policy, and additional steps, with Prime Minister Netanyahu during his visit to Washington on July 6," the White House said in a statement. Said Blair: "Plainly there are still issues to be addressed and the test of course will be not what is said, but what is done."

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