Comment at end
6th July 2010
From Tony Blair’s Website
New Gaza guidelines will support health, education, water and sanitation projects
Tony Blair has today welcomed the Israeli Government’s publication of the list of controlled items for Gaza, just two weeks after its decision to change its policy towards Gaza.
Commenting on the Government of Israel’s publication of the controlled items list for Gaza, Quartet Representative Tony Blair said:
“I welcome the Government’s publication of the list, which comes just two weeks after its decision to liberalise the Gaza policy. This list is a significant milestone. As I have always said implementation will be the test.
“The list of controlled items is tightly defined to protect Israel’s legitimate security needs. There will be a system to authorise and coordinate entry of controlled construction materials that are needed for projects in Gaza: the Palestinian Authority will approve these projects and the international community, the Government of Israel and the Palestinian Authority will need to work together effectively to ensure they progress.
“The number of projects to improve health, education, water and sanitation facilities that have received approval in the last few days has increased, and should continue to grow.
“In addition, the capacity of Kerem Shalom crossing is expected to increase substantially in the coming weeks. Further improvements in the capacity of crossings will be required as demand increases. It is critical that this demand is met.
“These changes are significant and, once implemented, should have a dramatic influence on the daily lives of the people of Gaza and on the private sector.
“Thousands of items that have not been available through legitimate channels for the last three years should now enter as a matter of course. This will produce a counterweight to the tunnel economy, which has been under Hamas control.
“It is also important that we ensure more people can enter and leave Gaza freely and that the legitimate business community can benefit from exporting its products from Gaza.
“I repeat my demand that Corporal Shalit, now in the fifth year of captivity, should be released immediately. We will redouble our efforts to secure his freedom.”
Tony Blair discusses Gaza goods blacklist (6:10)
And today Netanyahu met Obama in Washington.
Go here to DayLife to see more pictures, today in Washington.