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Israel Publishes List of Goods Banned From Gaza


Israel has published a list of goods it will not let into the Gaza Strip under a policy to ease its blockade of the impoverished Palestinian territory.

The list includes weapons and materials that can be used to make them.

Israel said Monday it will allow construction materials into Gaza but only for projects supervised by the international community.

The White House welcomed publication of the list. A spokesman said Israel's new approach will significantly improve the lives of the people in Gaza, and keep weapons away from the Islamic militant group Hamas, which rules the territory.

The list was published just before Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu left for talks Tuesday in Washington with U.S. President Barack Obama.

Tuesday's meeting will be their first since March, when Mr. Netanyahu faced U.S. criticism for a plan to build 1,600 Jewish homes in mainly Arab East Jerusalem.

Mr. Netanyahu said a key goal of his visit is to seek U.S. support for opening direct peace talks with the Palestinians.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has refused direct talks until Israel stops Jewish settlement construction on land the Palestinians claim for a state.

Also on Monday, Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak discussed security issues with Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad. Mr. Fayyad said talks focused on the transfer of humanitarian supplies to Gaza and cooperation between Israeli and Palestinian security forces.

Israel recently eased its land blockade of Gaza in response to international condemnation of its deadly commando raid on a flotilla of ships carrying aid to the Gaza Strip. Israel has said its sea blockade will remain in effect to prevent Hamas and its supporters from smuggling weapons into the territory.

Mr. Obama has called the situation in Gaza "unsustainable" and has urged Israel to ease its blockade of the territory.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

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