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Israel discusses easing Gaza blockade

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Israel discusses easing Gaza blockade


Amid international outrage over its deadly raid on a Gaza-bound aid ship, Israel has held a key meeting to consider easing its blockade.

The Security Cabinet has taken no decisions yet but talks will continue. A softening could see the EU send a naval mission towards the territory to help control the transit of goods.

“First, we need to open the crossings so that humanitarian aid, commercial goods and civilians can enter and exit Gaza normally,” the bloc’s foreign affairs chief Catherine Ashton told the European Parliament in Strasbourg.
“There should be a short list of prohibited goods where Israel has legitimate security concerns.”
“We are ready to support in the opening of other land crossings for goods and people, recalibrating our mission, or developing a new one,” she added.

With nine Turks killed in the raid, relations between the two countries have hit rock bottom.
Speaking to euronews, a Turkish ruling-party MP was unequivocal.

“The embargo must immediately be lifted and Israel must apologise,” said Lufti Elvan of the AKP.

A Turkish pro-Palestinian group says next month it will send another aid flotilla to Gaza.

Israel, which waged a military offensive against the territory’s rulers Hamas, insists the blockade is aimed at preventing war material getting into militants’ hands.

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