Israeli, Palestinian officials discuss lifting blockade on Gaza
Palestinian and Israeli officials met Tuesday at the Erez crossing between the Gaza Strip and Israel on delivering humanitarian aid to Gaza, a Palestinian liaison official said Wednesday, Xinhua reported.
During the three-hour meeting, the two sides discussed delivering the banned items to Gaza, including construction materials, said Raed Fattouh, head of the Palestinian liaison committee with Israel.
Ten Palestinian businessmen told the Israeli side about the grave consequences of the tree-year embargo which paralyzed the economy of the enclave, Fattouh said.
Israeli placed Gaza under a tight blockade after the Islamic Hamas movement, Israel's sore foe, violently grabbed control of the territory in 2007.
The Palestinian liaison committee is linked to the Palestinian National Authority (PNA) in Ramallah but has no connections with the deposed Hamas government of Gaza.
"We also discussed the issue of sending our goods to the outside world, allowing more merchants and patients to get into Israel and increasing the amount of electricity we buy from Israel, " Fattouh said.
The Israeli side said they need some time to study the requests and then give their final answer, he added.
Israel decided to relax its blockade on the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip to avoid mounting international criticism after its naval commandos killed nine activists aboard an aid ship bound for Gaza in May.