'Israel Seeks Global Support to Improve Flow of Goods to Gaza'

Netanyahu and Tony Blair meet in Jerusalem for talks on increasing flow civilian goods and combating weapons smuggling to Gaza.

Barak Ravid
Send in e-mailSend in e-mail
Barak Ravid

Israel is seeking global support to improve the flow of civilian goods and prevent weapons smuggling to the blockaded Gaza Strip, the government said on Friday.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu shakes hands with Middle East Quartet Envoy Tony Blair on June 08, 2010 in Jerusalem, Israel.Credit: GPO

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, under pressure to ease Israel's three-year siege since a deadly raid on a Gaza-bound aid ship two weeks ago, held talks on the issue with Tony Blair, Middle East envoy for the 'Quartet' of the European Union, United Nations, United States and Russia.

"The aim of the meeting was to recruit international support behind the principle that weapons and military supportive material will not reach Gaza or Hamas, while humanitarian and civilian goods may reach the area and its residents via additional means," Netanyahu's office said in a statement.

Israeli naval commandos on May 31shot dead nine Turkish activists who assaulted them with knives and clubs as they boarded the Turkish-owned ship 'Mavi Marama' to prevent it from breaching a maritime blockade of Gaza.

On Wednesday Israel eased restrictions on goods to Gaza this week by announcing it would admit additional items such as snack foods and carbonated drinks via Israeli-controlled crossings.

The announcnement came as U.S. President Barack Obama and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas held talks in Washington on the Gaza embargo, a focus of world attention since Israel's mid-ocean raid.

Aid groups have warned of a looming humanitarian disaster in Gaza, home to some1.5 million Palestinians, as a result of Israeli and Egyptian restrictions on imports.

Israel says its embargo on the Strip, imposed after Hamas siezed power in a bloody coup in 2007, is aimed at preventing weapons from reaching the Iranian-backed Islamists, who have refused peace initiatives with Israel.



Automatic approval of subscriber comments.
From $1 for the first month

Already signed up? LOG IN


The Orion nebula, photographed in 2009 by the Spitzer Telescope.

What if the Big Bang Never Actually Happened?

Relatives mourn during the funeral of four teenage Palestinians from the Nijm family killed by an errant rocket in Jabalya in the northern Gaza Strip, August 7.

Why Palestinian Islamic Jihad Rockets Kill So Many Palestinians

בן גוריון

'Strangers in My House': Letters Expelled Palestinian Sent Ben-Gurion in 1948, Revealed


AIPAC vs. American Jews: The Toxic Victories of the 'pro-Israel' Lobby

Bosnian Foreign Minister Bisera Turkovic speaks during a press conference in Sarajevo, Bosnia in May.

‘This Is Crazy’: Israeli Embassy Memo Stirs Political Storm in the Balkans

Hamas militants take part in a military parade in Gaza.

Israel Rewards Hamas for Its Restraint During Gaza Op