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Unformatted text preview: 1NC U.S.-Israeli relations high concessions over Gaza have overcome that tension CNN 6-21-10 (Elise Labott, "U.S. hopes to rebuild peace process along with Gaza after raid", http://www.cnn.com/2010/US/06/21/us.mideast/?hpt=Sbin) Not, frankly, because Israel was concerned about the increasingly dire humanitarian conditions in Gaza -- the Israeli government has always maintained it allowed enough humanitarian aid to go through. But because it could be good for peace. Israel began to consider how easing the harsh restrictions in Gaza could empower Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in his struggle with Hamas and possibly even secure the release of Corporal Gilad Shalit, the Israeli soldier captured nearly four years ago in a cross-border raid from Gaza. As Israeli officials describe it, those talks with the United States were chugging along and even gained some momentum with the resumption of "proximity talks" under the auspices of U.S. Mideast envoy George Mitchell. But, they acknowledge, the "urgency" wasn't there. Goods and supplies are beginning to flow into Gaza now that Israel's blockade has been eased. The Gaza situation was just one of numerous diplomatic headaches between the United States and Israel, which together have caused many Mideast experts and some in the Obama administration to question whether the U.S. relationship with Israel was detrimental to its interests. In April, President Barack Obama drew a link between the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the safety of American forces on the battlefields in Iraq and Afghanistan, acknowledging the crisis ends up "costing us significantly in terms of both blood and treasure." Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's refusal to halt Jewish housing construction in East Jerusalem also has hampered efforts at a Mideast peace deal and strained ties with Arab and Muslim allies. The Gaza incident significantly aggravated already tense relations between the U.S. and Turkey, whose help Washington needs to curb Iran's nuclear ambitions But with crisis also comes opportunity. And not surprisingly, the flotilla incident became the catalyst for a new approach. The Obama administration, along with Quartet envoy Tony Blair, seized on the "unsustainable" factor to push hard for relaxing the siege on Gaza and for greater engagement with the Palestinian Authority. During President Abbas's visit earlier this month, the White House announced $400 million in assistance for the West Bank and Gaza. The tensions between the Netanyahu and Obama administration didn't seem to be at play in the wake of the flotilla incident, with...
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- Spring '12