Gaza blockade

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Israel, Hamas OK 12-Hour Ceasefire

Israel had just rejected truce proposal from John Kerry

(Newser) - Hours after Israel rejected John Kerry's proposed ceasefire, Israel and Hamas have agreed to a 12-hour humanitarian truce starting at 7am Israeli time, a US official told the Jerusalem Post . Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told Kerry about the new arrangement, CNN reports. In rebuffing his earlier proposal, officials said... More »

Israel: We Found 'Terror Tunnel' From Gaza

Movement of construction materials halted

(Newser) - Israel has halted all movement of construction materials across the border to Gaza after finding what the military calls a mile-long "terror tunnel" running into the country from Palestinian territory. The military says the tunnel must have taken at least a month to build and could have been used... More »

Hamas Makes Its Demands

Leader Khaled Mashaal wants the Gaza blockade lifted

(Newser) - With air strikes still smoldering in the Gaza Strip, Hamas made its demands for peace: no more targeted killings and no more blockade on Gaza, Ynet News reports. A Palestinian delegation led by Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal gave the demands today to Egyptian officials in Cairo, according to an Islamic... More »

Israeli Navy Boards Ship Bound for Gaza

Activists again tried to get through the blockade

(Newser) - Israeli naval vessels stopped the advance of a pro-Palestinian boat attempting to reach Gaza today in defiance of Israel's blockade of the territory, the military said. The ships diverted the Estelle to the nearby port of Ashdod after passengers refused to steer the vessel off its course. The 30... More »

Israel Calculated Calories Before Blockading Gaza

Court forces release of grim study

(Newser) - Before implementing its controversial blockade of the Gaza strip, Israel did a grim calculation: It commissioned a study detailing the minimum amount of food Gaza's population needed to avoid starving. That 2008 study, titled "Food Consumption in the Gaza Strip—the Red Lines," has just been released... More »

UN Backs Israel Blockade, But Faults Deadly Raid

Report criticizes 'excessive' violence that killed nine on ship

(Newser) - Israel has won a partial vindication from the UN in a report about its deadly raid on a Turkish flotilla last year that left nine activists dead. The report says Israel was within its rights to create a blockade of Gaza and to intercept ships at sea to enforce it,... More »

Relief Flows as Egypt Opens Gaza Border

Four-year-old blockade ends

(Newser) - After a four-year blockade, Egypt today permanently opened the Gaza Strip's main gateway to the outside world, bringing long-awaited relief to the territory's Palestinian population and a significant achievement for the area's ruling Hamas militant group. The reopening of the Rafah border crossing eases an Egyptian blockade... More »

Israeli Probe: Deadly Flotilla Raid Was Justified

Nearly 300-page report says raid was legal under international law

(Newser) - A commission created by the Israeli government has cleared the Israeli military and government of any wrongdoing in last year's raid on a Gaza-bound flotilla of relief supplies that killed 8 Turkish citizens and a Turkish-American. The nearly 300-page report was based on the testimony of Israeli government and military... More »

UN Report: Israel 'Executed' Yank Activist on Flotilla

Teen Furkan Dogan was shot 'point blank in the face as he lay on the deck'

(Newser) - The killing of an American activist on board a blockade-running aid flotilla amounted to an "execution" by Israeli forces, a UN committee has found. Furkan Dogan, 19, was shot point blank in the face as he lay on the deck "conscious or semi-conscious for some time" due to... More »

UN Slams Israel's 'Brutal, Illegal' Flotilla Raid

Raid 'betrayed an unacceptable level of brutality'

(Newser) - A United Nations-appointed panel has strongly condemned the deadly Israeli raid on a flotilla of ships trying to break the Gaza blockade. The raid, which left nine activists dead, "betrayed an unacceptable level of brutality," the UN Human Rights Council's fact-finding mission concluded. The panel found that there... More »

Gazans Blame Hamas for Economic Woes

Party shares blame with Israel for sky-high unemployment

(Newser) - As joblessness mounts in the beleaguered Gaza Strip, more and more residents are blaming the ruling Hamas party for their woes, GlobalPost reports. Although Gaza has one of the fastest population growth rates on earth, 45% of people have no job and 85% depend on aid to get by. And... More »

Iran Bags Plan to Send Aid Ship to Gaza

Suddenly doesn't want to 'politicize humanitarian act'

(Newser) - Iran has canceled plans to send aid ships to Gaza, according to the Iranian state news agency, thus avoiding any confrontation with the Israeli naval blockade on the territory. Israel had recently notified the UN that it would consider the presence of Iranian ships in the region as "a... More »

Israel Eases Gaza Blockade

Ban on weapons remains in force

(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... More »

Israel to Ease Gaza Blockade

Tony Blair brokers a deal

(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... More »

Israeli Navy Kills 4 Palestinian Divers

Men in diving suits off Gaza coast were plotting attack, military says

(Newser) - Israel's navy killed four Palestinian militants in diver suits off the coast of Gaza early today in the first violence at sea since a deadly raid against an international flotilla last week. Military officials say an attack on Israeli targets was prevented when a naval force spotted Palestinians in diving... More »

Iran to Gaza Aid Ships: We'll Escort You

Khamenei's offer will obviously not go over well in Israel

(Newser) - If aid ships want to try breaking Israel's naval blockade on Gaza again, they'll have the full force and military escort of Iran's Revolutionary Guard to do it, a spokesman for the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei said today. "Iran's Revolutionary Guards naval forces are fully prepared to escort the... More »

Israel Releases Full Audio of Warning to Flotilla

IDF was criticized for earlier edited version

(Newser) - Israel today released a 6-minute audio clip of one of its Navy warships trying to establish communication with the Mavi Marmara before the deadly raid. The navy had released a much shorter version earlier, but critics accused it of a slanted selection of clips and even of outright doctoring. (A... More »

Israelis Seize Gaza-Bound Irish Aid Ship

Forces encounter no resistance from activists

(Newser) - Israeli forces seized a Gaza-bound aid vessel without meeting resistance yesterday, preventing it from breaking an Israeli maritime blockade of the Hamas-ruled territory days after a similar effort turned bloody. The military said its forces boarded the 1,200-ton Rachel Corrie from the sea, not helicopters. Army spokeswoman Lt. Col.... More »

Israel Is Just Doing What John F. Kennedy Did

It's protecting itself with a naval blockade; sound familiar?

(Newser) - Charles Krauthammer comes to a rousing defense of Israel's flotilla raid, suggesting that the world wants to rid itself of Jews by depriving them of "any legitimate form of self-defense." Anyone remember the Cuban missile crisis? "Israel is accused of international criminality for doing precisely what John... More »

Netanyahu: I'm Willing to Loosen Blockade

Humanitarian aid would be allowed after weapons checks

(Newser) - Just ahead of another potential clash, Israel seems ready to budge at least a little on its Gaza blockade. Benjamin Netanyahu says he's willing to allow ships to deliver humanitarian aid if they are checked for weapons first, reports the Jerusalem Post . Other media outlets, including Haaretz and the Wall ... More »

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