Israel approves steps to ease Gaza Strip blockade


JERUSALEM (AP) — Israel approved a series of measures easing its blockade of the Gaza Strip, including opening the main commercial crossing with the Palestinian enclave to imports. Wednesday’s announcement by COGAT, the Israeli defense body responsible for Palestinian civilian affairs, came as tensions have run high in recent weeks as Hamas activists have launched incendiary balloons into Israel and staged sometimes violent protests along the border fence. The body said that the government had approved expanding the territory’s fishing zone and opening the main commercial crossing, as well as increasing the water supply and increasing the number of merchants allowed to enter Israel. 

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