Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Easing a Blockade

With the glare of the world upon it, the Israeli government is allowing some new goods into Gaza:
"Israel is easing its Gaza embargo to allow snack food and beverages into the Palestinian enclave, Palestinian officials said on Wednesday, following an international outcry over Israel's raid on an aid flotilla...

"The Palestinian officials, based in the West Bank, said that as of next week, Israel will allow a wider variety of food, such as potato crisps, biscuits, canned fruit and packaged humous, as well as soft drinks and juice, into the Gaza Strip...

"Israel says its blockade of Gaza is necessary to choke off weapons supplies to Hamas Islamists who run the enclave and are opposed to Abbas's peace efforts with the Jewish state...

"Raed Fattouh, head of a West Bank-based Palestinian government committee that coordinates entry of goods into the Gaza Strip from Israel, said it was unclear whether Hamas would let the Israeli-made drinks and snack food in.

"A Palestinian merchant, who spoke to Reuters in the Gaza Strip on condition of anonymity, said Hamas officials ordered businessmen in the enclave not to import most of the items from Israel. A variety of goods come into the Gaza Strip from
neighbouring Egypt via smuggling tunnels."

I'm glad Israel has found a way to defend itself against potato crisps, fruit, and soft drinks. Hamas, meanwhile, shows it would prefer to keep a monopoly on distribution of goods into Gaza through its smuggling tunnels.

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