Israel is ‘seeing to needs of Gaza,’ Ayalon says


JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israel is "seeing to the needs of the civilian population of Gaza," Israel’s deputy foreign minister said during a tour of a Gaza border crossing.

Danny Ayalon took more than 80 members of the diplomatic corps on a tour of the Kerem Shalom crossing between Israel and the Gaza Strip Thursday to show them how Israel will maintain security procedures while sending more goods to Gaza.

"Our primary responsibility, as with any government, is the safety and security of our citizens," he said. "At the same time we are seeing to the needs of the civilian population of Gaza. Following the government decision we will double and even triple the amount of goods sent into Gaza. The only bottlenecks that will remain will be on the Palestinian side."

Gaza currently receives 40 percent of the total goods Israel imports by air and sea, Ayalon told the ministers.

On Wednesday, the cargo that was aboard the Gaza-bound flotilla intercepted by Israel began to cross into Gaza; it will be distributed by the United Nations.

Some 128 trucks crossed into Gaza from Israel under the observation of U.S. Middle East envoy George Mitchell.

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