Olmert Reverses Decision on Protest Boat

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JERUSALEM, Israel - Despite the government's announcement Tuesday that it would not allow the 'Free Gaza' movement's boat to traverse Israeli waters, outgoing Prime Minister Ehud Olmert reversed the decision.

According to Tuesday's announcement, the decision had been made "at the highest government levels," but Foreign Ministry spokesman Yossi Levy said "new information during the night" precipitated the turnaround.

In August, the government allowed two boats to dock in Gaza to avoid the publicity stunt sought by the movement.

Without providing details as to why the decision was reversed, government officials called it a "one-time decision" and not a blanket policy.

" [Israel] wants to keep these agitators guessing and not play into their hands," one senior government official suggested.

The government has yet to decide if it will allow the boat's return passage through Israeli waters enroute to Cypress.

Sources: The Jerusalem Post, israel national news

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