Israel softens stand

GAZA CITY: Israel says it's treating five suspected swine flu cases from Gaza in hopes of containing an outbreak of the virus in the blockaded Palestinian territory. The move is a rare loosening of the tight blockade Israel imposed on Gaza after Hamas militants seized the coastal area in June 2007. Israel usually only allows patients with life-threatening conditions into Israel. Gaza health officials reported their first cases of swine flu on Tuesday, saying three people had died. The virus arrived late to the area, most likely because of the blockade, which heavily restricts travel in and out of the territory.