But it is all a sham. It’s like a slave-owner giving his slaves half a day off. Are they really supposed to rejoice? Where is justice? These passages from alJazeera summarize perfectly how much this is all a bunch of theatrics that finally justifies the status quo of a situation condemned by the entire world as unjust. There is full consensus, a hundred and fifty countries against two on what should be done here. Easing the blockade, allowing, for the first time in years, ice cream and tomatoes to cross, is just a way to get us not to notice that they still hold a totally unjust blockade and still deny things as basic as cement to cross the border.

Ahmed Yousef, the Hamas deputy foreign minister in Gaza, has dismissed Israel’s new conditions as a public-relations stunt and said it would not greatly improve conditions in Gaza.

“This is just another way for Israel to deceive the world,” he told Al Jazeera on Monday.

The blockade of Gaza, implemented three years ago, has been criticised as collective punishment of 1.5 million Palestinians.

Christopher Gunness of UNRWA, the United Nations relief agency that looks after Palestinian refugees, said: “We need to have the blockade fully lifted.”

“The Israeli strategy is to make the international community talk about a bag of cement here, a project there. We need full unfettered access through all the crossings,” he told the Reuters news agency.

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