Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak has decided to allow the delivery of some fuel and medical supplies into the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip beginning Tuesday.
The decision means the European Union can resume fuel deliveries to Gaza's main power plant, which shut down Sunday due to fuel shortages, plunging Gaza City into darkness. A U.N. official in Gaza , John Ging, says 600-thousand people are currently without electricity.
Israel also will allow delivery of fuel for generators, like those found in hospitals, as well as gas used for cooking.
Israeli forces had sealed the border as a pressure tactic to stop Palestinian militants from firing rockets into Israel.
Barak's decision to ease the blockade follows warnings by U.N. officials and international human rights groups that Gaza is on the verge of humanitarian disaster.
Israeli officials, such as Foreign Ministry Spokesman Ariyeh Mekel, say Hamas is manipulating the situation to make it appear more dire than it really is.