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Reached its goal. Gaza aid ship at Ashdod Port
Photo: Reuters
Israel to allow more goods into Gaza
Cabinet decides to ease siege imposed on Strip by Olmert government. Method of blockade to be changed, inflow of civilian goods and material for civilian projects to be expanded
International pressure works: The National Security Cabinet on Thursday concluded its discussions on the Gaza blockade and decided to ease a number of restrictions imposed on the Strip.

 

The international flotilla failed to break the Gaza naval blockade, but it appears the international activists have somehow managed to break the siege imposed on the Strip following the Hamas takeover and the Gilad Shalit abduction.

 

Nir Hefetz, head of the National Information Directorate, issued a statement saying that the siege method would be changed in order to allow the entry of additional civilian goods into the Gaza Strip.

 

As part of the ease of restrictions, Israel will "expand the inflow of controlled materials for civilian projects and maintain the existing security measures in order to prevent the entry of weapons."

 

He added that "the cabinet will meet in the near future to decide on steps to implement this policy. Israel expects the international community to work for the immediate release of Gilad Shalit."

 

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu recently tasked Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz with forming a plan to regulate the activity in the Gaza crossing, in accordance with a new policy determined by the government.

 

According to Katz's plan, Israel will close all the land crossings to Gaza and civilians will cross through the open Rafah crossing into Egypt, removing Israel's responsibility on the land and later on other routes in the air and sea in order to prevent international pressure. Israel will maintain the right to conduct security measures in order to prevent the smuggling of weapons.

 

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