Israel To Ease Gaza Blockade

Israel will ease much of its land blockade of the Gaza Strip, it was revealed today.The Israeli government is hoping to silence growing international criticism following the assault on a flotilla of aid ships bound for Gaza in which nine activists were killed.A statement from the office of the prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, said Israeli leaders decided today to expand the number of products Israel will allow into Gaza, including construction materials. The naval blockade will remain."It was agreed to liberalise the system by which civilian goods enter Gaza [and] expand the inflow of materials for civilian projects that are under international supervision," the statement, which did not specify any product list, read.The new arrangements, decided upon in a series of meetings between the Middle East Quartet envoy, Tony Blair, and Netanyahu, are expected to cover three areas: