Washington: The United States has welcomed what it called a "meaningful" increase in the amount of goods entering Gaza following Israel`s pledge to ease its embargo on the Hamas-controlled enclave.
"It appears that between 130 and 140 truckloads of goods are now entering Kerem Shalom crossing" into Gaza, State Department spokesman Philip Crowley said yesterday.
"This compares with roughly 77 truckloads that were entering the crossing on June 20th, prior to Israel`s announcement of its new policies... We continue to see that as a positive step and meaningful and tangible increase in assistance going to the people of Gaza."
Crowley`s comments came as US envoy George Mitchell was in the region for indirect talks between Israel and the Palestinians on the peace process.
Mitchell, who visited Kerem Shalom, also met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defence Minister Ehud Barak.
On June 20, Israel said it would lift the embargo on Gaza for goods used for civilian purposes while maintaining a naval embargo to keep out weapons.
The decision came amid strong international pressure following an Israeli raid on a flotilla bound for Gaza last month that left nine people dead.