Israel to ease Gaza blockade in return for watered down international investigation
To ease blockade of the Gaza in return for a watered down international investigation into last week's raid on a Turkish aid ship, Israel is ready to accept a British plan.
Taking a leading role in the negotiations with Israel, Britain has circulated a confidential document proposing ways of easing the blockade, according to Western officials familiar with a draft version of the report.
Israeli officials said they would agree, in principle, to permit the passage of substantially more aid through Israel's land crossings with the Hamas-controlled territory after increase in international pressure, The Telegraph reports.
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.
Israeli officials denied there was any direct link between their willingness to cooperate over the blockade and the apparent ebbing of Western support for an UN-led international inquiry into to flotilla raid.
But a Western source close to international discussions with Israel said: "A quid pro quo deal is in the offing".
William Hague, the Foreign Secretary, also hinted that pressure for a UN investigation was easing by declaring that "an inquiry with an international presence" might be acceptable. (ANI)
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