Israeli blockade targeted Gaza economy: WikiLeaks

A US diplomatic cable says Israel wanted to weaken the Hamas government.

Jerusalem: A US diplomatic cable released
by Wikileaks says Israel`s blockade of the Gaza Strip was
meant to push the area`s economy "to the brink of collapse".

The March 3, 2008, document, published today by
Norway`s Aftenposten newspaper, clearly spells out one of
Israel`s chief objectives of the blockade: to cause widespread
economic hardship in a bid to weaken the Hamas government.
Israel imposed the blockade after Hamas militants
seized control of Gaza in June 2007.

According to the cable, Israeli officials repeatedly
told American diplomats that the embargo sought to damage
the Gazan economy "without quite pushing it over the edge".

Under international pressure, Israel has eased the
blockade since a deadly naval raid on a Gaza-bound flotilla
last spring.