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Jerusalem (CNN) -- Israel announced Monday that it will continue to restrict construction materials allowed into Gaza, but will allow other items to be brought into Gaza without specific permission.
The Israeli Security Cabinet last month voted to ease the blockade of goods into Gaza, which is ruled by Hamas. The decision followed a widely condemned incident in which Israeli soldiers stormed a humanitarian flotilla trying to break Israel's blockade of Gaza.
Israel unveiled two categories of materials that will remain under restrictions. The first category includes materials that could be used for bombs or other weapons, including certain fertilizers, ball bearings, lathes and their parts, hunting knives, machetes, and night vision goggles.
The second list includes construction materials that will only be allowed to enter Gaza for some Palestinian Authority-authorized projects.
The United Nations welcomed Monday's announcement as a step in the right direction.
"This can only be the beginning of the long road towards reconstruction and a functioning economy in the Gaza Strip," said U.N. Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Robert Serry.
British Foreign Secretary William Hague also welcomed the move, which he said "shows that it is possible to lift the pressure on ordinary Gazans without compromising the security of ordinary Israelis." Hague's statement called for continued progress by all parties improve the situation on the ground.
Other groups were critical. Gisha, an Israel-based non-governmental organization, said the restrictions on Gaza remain too great.
Originally posted by GideonHM
While reducing restrictions certainly sounds good others still believe that the changes are not enough and are still more of the same.