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Israel to ease blockade in exchange for watered-down investigation

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Palestinians wait for Hamas police officers to check their passports as they wait to cross to EgyptIsrael is poised to accept a British plan to ease its blockade of Gaza in exchange for international acceptance of a watered-down investigation into last week's deadly raid on a Turkish aid ship, sources said on Tuesday.

Britain is understood to have taken a leading role in the negotiations and last week circulated a confidential document proposing ways of easing the blockade, according to Western officials familiar with a draft version of the report.

Facing growing international criticism over the humanitarian situation in Gaza, Israeli officials said that would agree, in principle, to permit the passage of substantially more aid through Israel's land crossings with the Hamas-controlled territory.

Since the Islamist group seized control in 2007, Israel has allowed only basic humanitarian supplies into Gaza, while forbidding the importation of most electronic and construction materials that it says could be used by Hamas for military purposes.

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TVNL Comment: Hamas came to power in a US backed election and was unseated in a US backed war with Fatah, its opposition.  The organization did not 'seize' control.  Rather, it regained the power it was elected to assume by the people of Gaza.


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