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Israel’s Two Statements: “Liberalize” Blockade in English, No Such News in Hebrew

This morning’s news is full of headlines like “Israel says it will ease Gaza blockade” and “Israel agrees to ease restrictions on imports into Gaza,” which sounds like good news – until you read the fine print that points out that the ‘liberalization” still presents impossible restrictions (building materials only released to international aid projects, more consumer goods but no opening for medically necessary travel or exports of Gazan goods) – and no end to the collective punishment the blockade represents overall.

But the real story is even worse. According to a new report in Ha’aretz:

The Prime Minister’s Office issued a press release in English following the meeting, which was also sent to foreign diplomats, was substantially different than the Hebrew announcement – according to the English text, a decision was made to ease the blockade, but in the Hebrew text there was no mention of any such decision.

However, upon concluding the discussions, the ministers did not vote on any binding practical draft of the decision…

In addition to the English statement, word was sent to foreign consulates and embassies indicating that the decision made by the security cabinet will be implemented immediately. However, according to the officials charged with the actual monitoring of the transfer of goods into Gaza, they have not been notified of any change in policy as a result of the cabinet meeting…

Sources at the Prime Minister’s Office admitted that there was no decision, and no vote, during the security cabinet meeting. One of the sources said that “it was a briefing by the prime minister,” and another source said it was a “declaration of intent.”

“A meeting will be held soon, and we hope that a binding decision will be taken then,” the prime minister’s office said…

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Siun is a proud Old Town resident who shares her home with two cats and a Great Pyrenees. She’s worked in media relations and on the net since before the www, led the development of a corporate responsibility news service, and knows what a mult box is thanks to Nico. When not swimming in the Lake, she leads a team working on sustainability tools.

Email: media dot firedoglake at gmail dot com