Israel has said it will ease its land blockade on Gaza amid growing international pressure following its botched deadly assault on an aid flotilla bound for the coastal strip last month.
The move by Israel’s Security Cabinet should see more civilian goods enter the Hamas- controlled territory via border crossing points.
The new arrangements allow for a permanent blacklist of banned items. Currently, the majority of Gazans rely on UN aid handouts to survive, with many unable to afford products sold on the black market.
But human rights groups say new measures do not go far enough and Islamist Palestinian group Hamas described Israel’s decision as “media propaganda.”
Materials to rebuild Gaza following the war in 2009 are desperately needed and Israel appears set to let those in for UN-backed building projects. But the ban on private construction products is to remain as is Israel’s strict naval blockade.