No Decision Yet on Easing Gaza Blockade

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Israel's government has delayed a decision on whether to ease its naval blockade of the Gaza Strip.

The security cabinet met Wednesday under intense pressure to lift restrictions on supplies to Gaza.

World protests followed the flotilla clash late last month which killed nine pro-Palestinian activists.

Israel imposed the Gaza blockade three years ago to reduce the flow of arms and other weapons to Hamas. Now, the Turkish group that sponsored the first flotilla says it will send another in July.

Two aid ships are also scheduled to leave Iran soon and Hezbollah says it will send a ship from Lebanon.

An Israeli spokesman warned that the ships will be treated as hostile vessels because Iran and Lebanon are enemy states.

Also Wednesday, a bipartisan group met on Capitol Hill to warn the White House and the world not to interfere with Israel's right to self defense.

"We in the United States must make it clear and there should be no doubt about it that we stand with Israel in what has occurred and their right of absolute self-defense when it came to this flotilla," Rep. Ted Poe, R-Texas, said. "And that should be clear not only to Israel [and] Americans, but to those who oppose Israel's right to exist as well."

A recent poll showed 71 percent of Israelis oppose lifting the Gaza blockade.

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