A Palestinian boy holds a box of smuggled cigarettes near the entrance of an inactive tunnel which links Egypt and the southern Gaza Strip border town of Rafah on June 21, 2010 after Israel announced it would allow into the Hamas-ruled Palestinian territory everything that cannot be used by Gaza's Hamas rulers to build weapons or fortifications, dealing a potentially fatal blow to the tunnel trade that has largely sustained the coastal enclave. AFP PHOTO/SAID KHATIB *** Local Caption ***  824349-01-08.jpg
A boy holds a smuggled box of cigarettes near the entrance of an inactive tunnel that links Egypt and the southern Gaza Strip town of Rafah.

Gaza waits for Israel's new rules on siege

RAMALLAH // The besieged people of Gaza were still waiting yesterday for a relaxation of the Israeli blockade that has isolated and imprisoned them for the past three years. Israel has announced that it will allow all but weaponry and dual-use materials into Gaza, in what is widely seen as a ploy to ease growing international pressure for a complete end to the blockade.

The prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, was forced into the policy change by worldwide protests, led by Turkey and backed by the US and the European Union, after Israeli commandos killed nine activists on an aid ship bound for Gaza three weeks ago. In a deal understood to have been urged by Tony Blair, envoy for the Quartet of Middle East mediators, Israel says it will no longer restrict imports into Gaza to a list of 114 permitted goods, but instead allow in all goods except those on a list of specifically banned items.

However, the list has not yet been made public - a spokesman for Mr Netanyahu said yesterday it would be published "as soon as possible, hopefully in days" - and it is not clear what Israel will consider dual-use materials. Metals and some fertilisers are likely to be prohibited, while construction materials such as cement will be permitted only for internationally supervised projects approved by the Palestinian Authority, led by Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian president.

The blockade will remain in force as far as maritime access, exports from Gaza and the current three-nautical-mile limit on fishing are concerned, as well as the movement of people, although Israel pledged to make crossing into Israel easier for Palestinians seeking medical attention, and aid workers. The easing of travel restrictions has not happened so far, and Germany yesterday made an official complaint to Israel after a minister was denied access to Gaza.

Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank, reacted sceptically to the Israeli announcement. "Gaza needs a full lifting of the blockade," said Ghazi Hamad, the Hamas government's director of crossings. "Gaza's economy has been devastated by the siege and only by allowing businesses here to import and export will any recovery be possible." Mr Hamad said the easing of the blockade could be a first, "positive step", but that nothing had noticeably changed yet. "Let's see what happens on the ground. We have heard Israeli declarations come and be broken before. Israel wants to keep control of the crossings but it also wants to pretend that Gaza is no longer occupied territory. That is not a logical position." The Palestinian Authority in the West Bank has also dismissed the measure as insufficient and called for a total lifting of the blockade. The White House has announced that the US president, Barack Obama, will hold talks with the Israeli prime minister in Washington on July 6. Mr Obama and Mr Netanyahu had planned talks on June 1 but they were cancelled in the aftermath of the raid. Domestically, meanwhile, the Israeli government has been busy trying to defend the easing as a means to strengthen what officials now refer to as a "security blockade". Mr Netanyahu said in an address to the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defence Committee yesterday that "the cabinet decision is aimed at this, at tightening the security blockade". The decision is "the right decision for Israel, because it negates Hamas propaganda's main claim", he said. But the blockade was imposed in the first place to weaken Hamas, and some analysts suggest that Mr Netanyahu is simply trying to save face after yielding to international pressure. "Netanyahu folds under pressure," said Yossi Alpher, a Tel Aviv-based analyst. "And he has folded again and again over the flotilla incident." Mr Alpher argued that Mr Netanyahu would be able to ride the storm, but suggested that there would have to be some "political compensation". "The question is, who does he compensate? His right-wing coalition partners, who did not want him to ease the blockade, or Abu Mazen [Mr Abbas] who has again been left out in the cold?" Mr Alpher suggested that easing the blockade on Gaza could weaken Mr Abbas, since it reinforced Hamas's position that negotiating with Israel does not bring concessions. Yet it seems more likely that Mr Netanyahu will focus on placating his right wing coalition partners. Reports in the Palestinian press yesterday suggested that Israeli bulldozers had broken ground on 600 new settlement units in the East Jerusalem settlement of Pisgat Ze'ev. The building had been approved in February, but under US pressure, Israel has tried to avoid provoking anger over settlements in East Jerusalem, even if the temporary and partial freeze on settlement construction elsewhere in the occupied West Bank does not cover the city. The Israeli Jerusalem municipality also announced yesterday that it would proceed with the demolition of 22 Palestinian houses in East Jerusalem. Such moves will be significantly harder for Mr Netanyahu to oppose if he does not want to further alienate his right-wing government partners. okarmi@thenational.ae

Company Profile

Company name: Cargoz
Date started: January 2022
Founders: Premlal Pullisserry and Lijo Antony
Based: Dubai
Number of staff: 30
Investment stage: Seed


Wales 20-19 France

Wales: T: Wainwright, Moriarty. Cons: Biggar (2) Pens: Biggar 2

France: T: Vahaamahina, Ollivon, Vakatawa Cons: Ntamack (2)


Edinburgh: November 4 (unchanged)

Bahrain: November 15 (from September 15); second daily service from January 1

Kuwait: November 15 (from September 16)

Mumbai: January 1 (from October 27)

Ahmedabad: January 1 (from October 27)

Colombo: January 2 (from January 1)

Muscat: March 1 (from December 1)

Lyon: March 1 (from December 1)

Bologna: March 1 (from December 1)

Source: Emirates

Company profile

Company name: Fasset
Started: 2019
Founders: Mohammad Raafi Hossain, Daniel Ahmed
Based: Dubai
Sector: FinTech
Initial investment: $2.45 million
Current number of staff: 86
Investment stage: Pre-series B
Investors: Investcorp, Liberty City Ventures, Fatima Gobi Ventures, Primal Capital, Wealthwell Ventures, FHS Capital, VN2 Capital, local family offices

Company Profile

Name: Direct Debit System
Started: Sept 2017
Based: UAE with a subsidiary in the UK
Industry: FinTech
Funding: Undisclosed
Investors: Elaine Jones
Number of employees: 8

Apple's Lockdown Mode at a glance

At launch, Lockdown Mode will include the following protections:

Messages: Most attachment types other than images are blocked. Some features, like link previews, are disabled

Web browsing: Certain complex web technologies, like just-in-time JavaScript compilation, are disabled unless the user excludes a trusted site from Lockdown Mode

Apple services: Incoming invitations and service requests, including FaceTime calls, are blocked if the user has not previously sent the initiator a call or request

Connectivity: Wired connections with a computer or accessory are blocked when an iPhone is locked

Configurations: Configuration profiles cannot be installed, and the device cannot enroll into mobile device management while Lockdown Mode is on

A little about CVRL

Founded in 1985 by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai, the Central Veterinary Research Laboratory (CVRL) is a government diagnostic centre that provides testing and research facilities to the UAE and neighbouring countries.

One of its main goals is to provide permanent treatment solutions for veterinary related diseases. 

The taxidermy centre was established 12 years ago and is headed by Dr Ulrich Wernery. 


6pm: Al Maktoum Challenge Round-1 – Group 1 (PA) $50,000 (Dirt) 1,600m
6.35pm: Festival City Stakes – Conditions (TB) $60,000 (D) 1,200m
7.10pm: Dubai Racing Club Classic – Listed (TB) $100,000 (Turf) 2,410m
7.45pm: Jumeirah Classic Trial – Conditions (TB) $150,000 (T) 1,400m
8.20pm: Al Maktoum Challenge Round-1 – Group 2 (TB) $250,000 (D) 1,600m
8.55pm: Cape Verdi – Group 2 (TB) $180,000 (T) 1,600m
9.30pm: Dubai Dash – Listed (TB) $100,000 (T) 1,000m


Company name: Revibe
Started: 2022
Founders: Hamza Iraqui and Abdessamad Ben Zakour
Based: UAE
Industry: Refurbished electronics
Funds raised so far: $10m
Investors: Flat6Labs, Resonance and various others


All times UAE (+4 GMT)

Nice v Angers (9pm)
Lille v Monaco (10.45pm)

Montpellier v Paris Saint-Germain (7pm)
Bordeaux v Guingamp (10pm)
Caen v Amiens (10pm)
Lyon v Dijon (10pm)
Metz v Troyes (10pm)

Saint-Etienne v Rennes (5pm)
Strasbourg v Nantes (7pm)
Marseille v Toulouse (11pm)

The Specs

Engine: 1.6-litre 4-cylinder petrol
Power: 118hp
Torque: 149Nm
Transmission: Six-speed automatic
Price: From Dh61,500
On sale: Now

UAE athletes heading to Paris 2024

Abdullah Humaid Al Muhairi, Abdullah Al Marri, Omar Al Marzooqi, Salem Al Suwaidi, and Ali Al Karbi (four to be selected).

Men: Narmandakh Bayanmunkh (66kg), Nugzari Tatalashvili (81kg), Aram Grigorian (90kg), Dzhafar Kostoev (100kg), Magomedomar Magomedomarov (+100kg); women's Khorloodoi Bishrelt (52kg).

Safia Al Sayegh (women's road race).

Men: Yousef Rashid Al Matroushi (100m freestyle); women: Maha Abdullah Al Shehi (200m freestyle).

Maryam Mohammed Al Farsi (women's 100 metres).

The specs: 2019 Mini Cooper

Price, base: Dh141,740 (three-door) / Dh165,900 (five-door)
Engine: 1.5-litre four-cylinder (Cooper) / 2.0-litre four-cylinder (Cooper S)
Power: 136hp @ 4,500rpm (Cooper) / 192hp @ 5,000rpm (Cooper S)
Torque: 220Nm @ 1,480rpm (Cooper) / 280Nm @ 1,350rpm (Cooper S)
Transmission: Seven-speed automatic
Fuel consumption, combined: 4.8L to 5.4L / 100km

Brief scoreline:

Manchester United 2

Rashford 28', Martial 72'

Watford 1

Doucoure 90'

Living in...

This article is part of a guide on where to live in the UAE. Our reporters will profile some of the country’s most desirable districts, provide an estimate of rental prices and introduce you to some of the residents who call each area home.

Herc's Adventures

Developer: Big Ape Productions
Publisher: LucasArts
Console: PlayStation 1 & 5, Sega Saturn
Rating: 4/5


Director: Tamer Ruggli

Starring: Nadine Labaki, Fanny Ardant

Rating: 3.5/5

Company Profile

Name: HyveGeo
Started: 2023
Founders: Abdulaziz bin Redha, Dr Samsurin Welch, Eva Morales and Dr Harjit Singh
Based: Cambridge and Dubai
Number of employees: 8
Industry: Sustainability & Environment
Funding: $200,000 plus undisclosed grant
Investors: Venture capital and government

Company Profile

Company name: Hoopla
Date started: March 2023
Founder: Jacqueline Perrottet
Based: Dubai
Number of staff: 10
Investment stage: Pre-seed
Investment required: $500,000

The biog

Family: Parents and four sisters

Education: Bachelor’s degree in business management and marketing at American University of Sharjah

A self-confessed foodie, she enjoys trying out new cuisines, her current favourite is the poke superfood bowls

Likes reading: autobiographies and fiction

Favourite holiday destination: Italy

Posts information about challenges, events, runs in other emirates on the group's Instagram account @Anagowrunning

Has created a database of Emirati and GCC sportspeople on Instagram @abeermk, highlight: Athletes

Apart from training, also talks to women about nutrition, healthy lifestyle, diabetes, cholesterol, blood pressure


Director: Sudha Kongara Prasad

Starring: Akshay Kumar, Radhika Madan, Paresh Rawal

Rating: 2/5