Israel Announces Easing of Blockade, in English
Two statements released, but lessening blockade only mentioned in English.
Israel’s PM office announced on Thursday that it had agreed to relax its blockade on the Gaza Strip, although apparently, no clear decision on the matter was made during cabinet proceedings.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s office released a statement in English following the meeting, although the Hebrew press release differed substantially, in that it failed to mention the easing of the Gaza blockade.
As of yet, it is unclear whether this discrepancy in the announcements was merely a clerical error, or intentional, in order to buy time amidst mounting international pressure.
Cabinet meetings were held all day Wednesday, and again on Thursday, in the hopes of reaching a conclusion regarding their approach to Hamas-ruled Gaza cabinet members also discussed Israel’s three-year siege imposed on Gaza in response to Hamas violently wresting control of the region in 2007.
At the closure of the meetings, however, no binding decisions were made, nor were votes cast on the easing of the blockade.
Regardless, the English version of the release stated that Israel would, indeed, “liberalize the system by which civilian goods enter Gaza [and] expand the inflow of materials for civilian projects that are under international supervision."
The Hebrew version simply stated that "Israel will alter the system in order to allow more civilian goods into Gaza,” but no further details were given.
According to officials in charge of monitoring the transfer of goods into Gaza, they have not yet been notified of a change in policy following the meetings.
Said the Prime Minister’s office, "A meeting will be held soon, and we hope that a binding decision will be taken then," explaining that the reason for the delay is "the need for continued contact with allies within the international community in order to gain support for the liberalization plan."