….Will Allow In All Goods Except For Weapons

Substantiating the ruse that the siege of Gaza and the restriction of goods and food into Gaza is about Israel’s security needs is this report from the Associated Press yesterday: Some reported the announcement as a win for the peace activists, who have sent boats and flotillas to break the inhumane siege of Gaza over the past two years. After the slaughter of nine Turkish peace activists on the Mavi Marmara on the last flotilla, it was just impossible for Israeli hasbara to control the press, as more and more people around the world became cognizant of what Israel has been doing to the Gazan Palestinians.

JERUSALEM — Israel’s government decided Sunday to draw up a list of items banned from Gaza limited to weapons and materials deemed to have military uses and said the easing of the three-year-old blockade of the Palestinian territory would be implemented immediately.

The list of banned goods replaces an old list of allowed items that permitted only basic humanitarian supplies for the 1.5 million Gazans. Under the new system, the government said practically all non-military items can enter Gaza freely.

“From now on, there is a green light of approval for all goods to enter Gaza except for military items and materials that can strengthen Hamas’ military machine,” Israeli government spokesman Mark Regev said.

Israel decided on Thursday to ease the blockade under intense international pressure after its raid on a blockade-busting international flotilla bound for Gaza killed nine pro-Palestinian activists.

In a critical shift, Israel said it would allow construction materials into Gaza for projects approved by the Palestinian Authority, such as housing and schools, as long as the projects are under international supervision. Up to now, Israel has banned most construction materials,

It’s a beginning at least, although the Palestinians remain skeptical. The siege itself will continue.

95% of Gaza’s industries are either destroyed or closed due to lack of raw materials and equipment, unemploment is sky high, clean water is scarce because of destruction of treatment plants, and sewage is still dumped into the sea surrounding Gaza daily. And fishing is still limited to a few miles off the coast and enforced by the Israeli navy.

But it is at least a partial win for the leaders of past flotillas and the memory of the nine Turkish peace activists who were murdered on the Mavi Marmara.

But it was also about the future that Israel was facing. This summer, flotillas from Lebanon, Iran, Germany (organized by Jewish peace org), and England (another Jewish peace org), will attempt to break the siege. Another Turkish flotilla was also being discussed. Viva Palestina, the British pro-Palestinian org that sent a land convoy to Gaza last January, will send simultaneous land and sea convoys, expected to be quite large, this September.

For Israel, the future was fraught with more bad press, and repeated reminders of the massacre that occurred on the Turkish flotilla.

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