U.S. Officials Say: New Gaza Policy -Ethan Bronner
The Obama administration considers Israel’s blockade of Gaza to be untenable and plans to press for another approach to ensure Israel’s security while allowing more supplies into the impoverished Palestinian area, senior American officials said.
The officials say that Israel’s deadly attack on a flotilla trying to break the siege and the resulting international condemnation create a new opportunity to for a less harsh policy toward Gaza.
“There is no question that we need a new approach to Gaza,” said one official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the policy shift is still in the early stages. He was reflecting a broadly held view in the upper reaches of the administration.
Israel withdrew its soldiers and settlers from Gaza five years ago and built the makings of an international border. But after Hamas won Palestinian parliamentary elections in 2006...it drove the Fatah-dominated Palestinian Authority entirely out of Gaza in four days of street battles...
[New York Times]
[Please keep in mind that despite the leak suggested above, Vice President Biden currently affirms Israel's right to self-defense, below. On the other hand the latest posture by President Obama comes from an interview with Larry King, below -Bruce]
Biden Backs Israel's Right to Stop Gaza-Bound Ships -Ross Colvin
U.S. Vice President Joe Biden backed Israel's right to board ships bound for Gaza to prevent weapons smuggling.
"Israel has an absolute right to deal with its security interest," Biden said in an interview on PBS's "Charlie Rose" show. "They (Israel) have said, 'Here you go. You're in the Mediterranean. This ship - if you divert slightly north you can unload it and we'll get the stuff into Gaza," Biden said. "What's the big deal of insisting it go straight to Gaza?" he asked. "It's legitimate for Israel to say, 'I don't know what's on that ship. These guys are dropping 3,000 rockets on my people,'" he said, referring to Hamas...
Gaza Shipments -Isabel Kershner
President Obama added to the pressure on Israel in an interview with Larry King that was broadcast Thursday night. While declining to condemn the raid, he said, “What’s important right now is that we break out of the current impasse, use this tragedy as an opportunity so that we figure out how we meet Israel’s security concerns, but at the same time start opening up opportunity for Palestinians.”
[New York Times]