Israelis make no decision on ending Gaza blockade
Relaxing the restrictions on goods that go through Israeli-controlled land crossings is less complicated than easing the sea blockade. Israel is afraid that weapons ships will stream into Gaza if the naval blockade is lifted, with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowing that Israel would “not allow the establishment of an Iranian port in Gaza.”
On Wednesday, a top Israeli security chief warned against lifting the sea blockade, saying that even international inspectors would not be able to keep Israel safe.
The Haaretz newspaper on Wednesday quoted international envoy Tony Blair, the former British prime minister, as hailing the expected vote by the Israeli ministers.
“It will allow us to keep weapons and weapon materials out of Gaza, but on the other hand to help the Palestinian population there,” Mr. Blair was quoted as saying. “The policy in Gaza should be to isolate the extremists but to help the people”
Mr. Blair represents the Quartet of Mideast negotiators — the United States, European Union, United Nations and Russia.