Middle East

Israel Revises Gaza Blockade Ban

On the eve of the Israeli prime minister's trip to the White House, the Israeli government on Monday announced details of its more relaxed Gaza blockade restrictions. Yossi Gal, the director general of the Israeli foreign ministry, and senior military official Maj. Gen. Eitan Dangot outlined a list of goods that would not be permitted into the Gaza Strip (previously, only items that were specifically approved were allowed into the region). The contraband list includes all weapons and "dual-use" items, or goods that can be used for both civilian needs and terrorist or military purposes—examples include chemicals, certain fertilizers, and other items like hunting knives, optical equipment, diving equipment, parachutes and gliders. Meanwhile, Turkey, long one of Israel's closest allies in the Muslim world, has said it will cut ties with the Jewish state unless it apologizes for the May 31 flotilla raid that killed nine Turkish activists. Avigdor Lieberman, Israel’s foreign minister, said during a trip to Latvia that Israel had no intention of apologizing.