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Israel approves raid inquiry


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JERUSALEM – Israel’s government yesterday approved an investigation into the deadly raid on a flotilla trying to break the blockade of Gaza, rejecting calls for an international inquiry but allowing the participation of two accomplished foreign observers to try to deflect the criticism.Demonstrating that Israel is still under pressure, representatives of the 27-nation European Union called the  three-year blockade unacceptable. In a step toward easing the embargo, the EU offered  to renew its role in helping supervise Gaza’s volatile border crossings.The European Union call added to the intense pressure Israel has faced to lift the blockade since the flotilla raid.  Israel and Egypt imposed the blockade in 2007  in an attempt to squeeze the Islamic militants  of Hamas, who had  just seized control of the Gaza Strip.The most notable dissent has come from President Barack Obama, who called the Gaza closure unsustainable.  The United States pressure resonates more with the Israelis because of their close alliance with Washington. (AP)