US demands Israel lift Gaza siege

Thursday, June 18, 2009 |  Israel Today Staff

The Obama Administration has significantly increased pressure on Israel to lift its siege of the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip, according to a report in Ha'aretz.

Late last month, Obama sent a diplomatic message to Israel protesting its policies regarding Gaza and insisting that border crossings between the volatile coastal territory and southern Israel be opened.

Later, both US and Israeli sources confirmed that Washington followed up with verbal communication with Israeli leaders expressing dissatisfaction that Israel was linking the embargo against Gaza to the case of abducted Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit.

The issue was raised again when US envoy George Mitchell visited the region last week, and yet again when Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman met with US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in Washington on Wednesday.

Many Israelis are wary of America's meddling in the Gaza situation, aware of the fact that it was US interference and unkept promises that convinced Israel to finally surrender the entire territory, including the Gaza-Egypt border. Less than two year later, Gaza was under full Hamas control and and the border had become a conduit for all manner of illicit weaponry.

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