US praises Israel's decision to ease Gaza Strip blockade

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Jerusalem, June 21 (ANI): Israel's decision to agree to ease its blockade of the Gaza Strip and expand the inflow of materials for civilian projects under international supervision has earned unusual praise from the Obama administration.

"The White House welcomes the new policy towards Gaza announced by the government of Israel, which responds to the calls of many in the international community," The New York Times quoted a White House statement, as saying.

"Once implemented, we believe these arrangements should significantly improve conditions for Palestinians in Gaza, while preventing the entry of weapons," it added.

The White House also said that U.S. President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu would meet in Washington on July 6, a rescheduling of a meeting canceled after the flotilla raid.

Meanwhile, a senior American official, said: "We think this is a good move, but obviously implementation is key. Everything that we'd like to see is on there."

Israel's relations with Washington have deteriorated over the last year, with America's anger peaking over the continued building of Jewish homes in East Jerusalem, which the Palestinians want as a capital for a future state.

Israel had been hoping to improve its relationship with Washington after the start of indirect, American-brokered talks with the Palestinians in May. (ANI)

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