Israel ready to ease entry of goods into Gaza: EU diplomat

14th June 2010, Comments 0 comments

Israel has indicated that it is ready to ease the entry of goods into the Palestinian Gaza Strip, an EU diplomat said Monday.

Israel is showing willingness to significantly ease its Gaza blockade following international concern over a deadly commando attack on an aid flotilla heading for the enclave, the diplomat said.

"The indications we are getting from Israel is that they are willing to go from a positive to a negative list," the diplomat said, referring to a change from a list of allowed items to a list of banned items, with many more previously banned ordinary goods allowed to go through.

Israel had indicated that one or both of the Karni and Kerem Shalom crossings could be used for the deliveries.

Another European diplomat said the crossings may be monitored by the United Nations, "not by providing security but to validate the goods going in".

The EU role could be "to offer support through financial aid", he added.

Middle East envoy Tony Blair was in Luxembourg, to meet with EU foreign ministers holding talks there, and was to announce details later in the day.

The comments came after Israel announced it had set up an "independent public commission" to investigate the raid on the aid flotilla in which nine Turkish activists were killed.

The committee, which would include two foreign observers, was established to conduct an internal investigation into the legal aspects of the operation.

EU foreign affairs chief Catherine Ashton, arriving for the EU ministerial talks, said it was "very important to have a credible investigation", into the deadly incident.

One of the EU diplmats said that Israel's announcement of a probe was "a positive thing" while adding that more detail was needed.

British Foreign Secretary William Hague said the announcement of an investigation was "an important step forward" and welcomed the involvement of Northern Irish Nobel Peace Prize winner David Trimble.

"Clearly it is very important that it is a truly independent enquiry and a thorough investigation that the international coomunity can respect," he added.

© 2010 AFP

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