George Mitchell, the US special envoy to the Middle East, met with Hosni Mubarak, the Egyptian president, on Saturday to discuss ongoing political deadlock in the Middle East. On Friday he met with Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian president, in Ramallah. Both Abbas and Ismail Haniya, the deposed prime minister, however, reiterated that the Israeli blockade of the Gaza Strip must be completely lifted. But can those making this demand capitalise on unprecedented international pressure to achieve that end? And will more planned aid flotillas bound for Gaza help or hinder?