Israeli steps to ease blockade not end of siege: Hamas
The Israeli decision to ease the blockade of Gaza by extending the list of items allowed into the territory "does not mean the end of the siege," an official from the deposed Hamas government said on Monday.
"Israel is maneuvering," Hamas Minister of Economy Ziad al-Zaza told the Gaza-based al-Quds Radio, adding "the Israelis are deceiving the world to avoid the recent wave of international criticism."
The Israeli government announced on Sunday it would change the blockade policy and relax its land embargo of the enclave in the wake of increasing international demands to end the three-year blockade, Xinhua reported.
International calls to end the Gaza siege have mounted following Israel's deadly attack on a Gaza-bound aid flotilla last month, during which nine activists were killed.
Al-Zaza urged for a constant opening of all crossings and lifting the siege.
"Allowing the entry of goods into Gaza while barring the construction materials is meaningless," he said, "we don't want snacks and chips. We need building materials."
Israel placed the seaside territory under a tight blockade since Hamas movement, seen by the West as a terrorist group, grabbed hold of the strip in 2007.
In the same context, the Palestinian National Authority (PNA) said the new Israel steps to loosen the embargo "are not enough."
"These will not end the sufferings of people in Gaza," said a spokesman of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.
The spokesman said Israel should respond to the international pressure and "lift the siege."