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WikiLeaks: Israeli Blockade Aimed to Weaken Gaza Economy

A U.S. diplomatic cable released by WikiLeaks on Wednesday says Israel's blockade of Gaza aimed to "keep Gaza's economy on the brink of collapse."

The document says Israeli officials repeatedly confirmed the embargo's goal was to keep Gaza's economy functioning "at its lowest possible level without getting a humanitarian crisis."

The newly released cable was published by Norway's Aftenposten newspaper.

The document was dated November 3, 2008, just weeks before Israel launched an offensive in the Gaza Strip to stop Hamas militants from firing rockets on Israeli towns.

Israel says the blockade seeks to weaken Hamas.

Humanitarian groups argue the embargo is taking the heaviest toll on civilians, while Hamas militants continue to smuggle in building materials, weapons and cash through tunnels under the border with Egypt.