18 Jun 2010

Gaza blockade to be eased

8:08 am on 18 June 2010

The Israeli government has announced an easing of its blockade of Gaza.

The easing of the blockade will expand the number of civilian products Israel will allow into Gaza via land border crossing points.

However, naval restrictions will remain. Israel says it retains the right to protect itself with a partial blockade.

Hamas has dismissed the decision as a ploy to distract from growing international criticism of Israel after commados stopped an aid flotilla trying to break the blockade on 31 May.

Nine people aboard one ship were killed.

Hamas says a complete lifting of the blockade is needed.

Israel and Egypt tightened their blockade on Gaza after Hamas took control of the territory in 2007.