Israel May Trade Weak Probe for Easing Blockade

Egypt Lets Aid Group In... Without Aid

Aimed at weakening the crippling Israeli blockade on the Gaza Strip, the attacked aid flotilla may have indirectly accomplished its goal, as Israel is said to be close to accepting a British plan that would include easing the blockade on humanitarian goods.

The deal would have Israel allowing some additional civilian aid into the strip in return for an international promise to make the prospective international probe of its attack on one of the aid ships a weak one.

A sticking point appears to be Israel’s demand that it retain 100% control over the sea around the Gaza Strip, ensuring that no civilian aid ships are allowed in going forward. Israel has previously rejected the international probe, insisting it was unnecessary for the international community to look into the killings at all.

Israel has refused to allow anything but the bare minimum of humanitarian aid, essentially rice and chickpeas, into the Gaza Strip for the past few years, with bans on such basic things as ginger and chocolate. Egypt, which has been complicit in the blockade has promised to “ease” it.

Yet this easing hasn’t amounted to much so far, as today Egypt allowed a small aid group led by members of its own parliament to enter the Gaza Strip, but refused to let them bring any aid with them.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of