Jerusalem, June 4 (ANI): Israel has shifted its position on the ongoing blockade on Gaza, saying that it is "exploring new ways" for allowing goods to reach the coastal enclave.
The New York Times quoted an Israeli official, as saying on Thursday that his country is determined to have every ship heading to Gaza inspected to prevent the smuggling of rockets and other weapons.
But at the same time, he said, the government wanted to facilitate the entry of civilian goods.
The paper further says that Tel Aviv's new flexibility follows a week of unrelenting international outrage over Israel's commando raid on a flotilla of pro-Palestinian activists, which left nine dead, and reports that the Obama administration is calling for a "new approach" in Gaza after concluding that the blockade is untenable.
In an interview to Larry King, President Obama 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."
Meanwhile, on Thursday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met Tony Blair, the international envoy of the so-called quartet of Middle East peacemakers, and suggested that an international naval force inspect future aid ships bound for Gaza.
However, there was no immediate confirmation from Netanyahu's office or from Blair's that such a proposal had been discussed.
Since the raid on Monday, Israeli officials have staunchly defended the blockade of Gaza, saying it is needed to prevent Hamas, the militant Islamic group that rules the territory, from receiving shipments of rockets, missiles and other arms. (ANI)