Friday, June 18, 2010

Israel's Blockade Easing

Israel is now allowing some new categories of goods into Gaza:
"Israel removed cookies, soda, canned fruit, and other snack foods from the list of goods barred from entry into the impoverished territory, though it maintained its ban on imports of cement and other building materials that Gazans and international aid groups say the territory needs to recover from the pounding it took in Israel's 2008-2009 offensive, which left much of the infrastructure in ruins and destroyed hundreds of homes.

"Israeli officials said the easing had nothing to do with the controversial raid on the flotilla, which prompted dozens of governments to call for an end to an economic blockade that has pushed Gazan unemployment above 40 percent. But it follows a similar symbolic easing by Egypt, Israel's partner in the blockade of Gaza and its Islamist Hamas government."

This seems like public relations more than anything else, removing some of the most easily mocked categories while leaving the heavy hitting building and medical categories.

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