Israel eases Gaza blockade


Israel eased its blockade on the Gaza Strip.

On orders from Defense Minister Ehud Barak, Israel on Tuesday allowed a shipment of fuel, food and medicine to enter Gaza, where Palestinians say a closure imposed over the weekend has caused a humanitarian crisis.

The fuel included enough industrial diesel to power Gaza’s lone electricity plant for a week. The plant shut down Sunday, plunging much of northern Gaza into darkness.

The European Union, which sponsors the plant, said Israel has agreed to restore weekly fuel shipments. Israel said the imports were subject to weekly reviews.

Israel, which blockaded Gaza in response to a surge of Palestinian rocket fire, said there was a significant dropoff in the salvos. Several rockets were launched across the border Tuesday but caused no damage.

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