U.S. welcomes Israel's decision to ease Gaza blockade

10:24, June 18, 2010      

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The U.S. State Department Thursday welcomed Israel's decision to ease its blockade on the Gaza Strip as the international community is increasingly pressuring the Jewish state to allow aid to access the isolated enclave.

"We welcome the general principles announced earlier today by the Israeli government," State Department spokesman Mark Toner said.

"They reflect the type of changes we've been discussing with our Israeli friends," he said.

Ministers of the Israeli security cabinet on Thursday reached agreement after days of debate on a proposal to ease the blockade on the Gaza Strip, said Israeli Prime Minister's office.

In a statement released on Thursday morning, the Israeli government agreed to expand the range of goods that could enter Gaza. It emphasized that the materials are for civilian projects and the transfer will be under international supervision.

On May 31, Israeli navy commandos raided a Gaza-bound international aid flotilla, killing nine and injuring dozens. The bloodshed brought about a chorus of criticism against Israel. The international community has since been pressuring Israel to lift or ease the Gaza siege.

Source: Xinhua


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