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Israel’s legal adviser halts Gaza power cuts

Posted by vmsalama on October 30, 2007

This entire situation is so sad.  As if it is not enough that the innocent people of Gaza are forced to live in this open-air prison for so long, they have little or no sewage and now the electricity is being cut.  I wrote a story in early 2006 about the failed economy of Gaza – it was hard to believe then that things could get worse.  I always say that and they always do.  There is so much wrong with the situation – and plenty of blame to go around.  What hope is left?  I hope the UN intervenes.

Palestinian relatives carry the body of Ahmed Abu Tahun, 22,  from the Izzeddine Al Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of the Hamas movement, during his funeral in Khan Younis, in the southern Gaza Strip on Sunday. Tahun was killed during clashes with Israel special  forces near the Sufa crossing with Israel (AFP photo)

JERUSALEM (AFP) – Israel’s state prosecutor said Monday that planned punitive cuts in the electricity supply to the Gaza Strip cannot go ahead without taking full account of the possible humanitarian consequences.

Menahem Mazouz said in a statement that “security chiefs must carry out supplementary examinations to take account of the humanitarian obligations before ordering electricity cuts”.

A spokesman for Mazouz’s office, Moshe Cohen, told AFP there was a need to “evaluate the risks that such measures could have on the civilian population”.

Mazouz published his advice following close consultations with officials from the justice, defence and foreign ministries as well as the prime minister’s office and the supreme court.

The supreme court has, meanwhile, given the government until Friday to justify the economic sanctions it is seeking to impose on the Palestinian territory, following legal action taken by 10 human rights groups.

Israel on Sunday began reducing the amount of fuel it supplies to the beleaguered Hamas-run coastal strip, just weeks after it declared the territory a “hostile entity” in response to frequent but rarely lethal rocket attacks.

Amid international criticism of the move as “collective punishment”, it said it intended to impose electricity cuts within the next few days.

Israel rejected international criticism of its decision to cut fuel supplies to the Gaza Strip, after the European Union, the United Nations and Russia condemned the sanctions.

“Israel is continuing to maintain the flow of humanitarian support for the Palestinian people in Gaza – foodstuff, medicine and energy. We do not see the Palestinian people as our enemy,” Mark Regev, a foreign ministry spokesman, told AFP.

“What we are trying to do is find ways to protect our people from these daily attacks of deadly rockets against Israel,” he added. “Our response is proportional and calculated to protect our civilians.”

The decision to cut fuel supplies brought a strong reaction from UN chief Ban Ki-moon, who called the “punitive measures” against the Gaza Strip “unacceptable” and urged the Jewish state to reconsider its actions.

Russia lodged a similar complaint, with the foreign ministry condemning the “isolation” of the Palestinian territory and insisting the measures would do little to combat extremism.

Earlier on Monday a top EU official expressed similar concerns. “I have mentioned these concerns openly in all my discussions,” External Relations Commissioner Benita Ferrero-Waldner told a news conference following talks with top Israeli officials, including Prime Minister Ehud Olmert in Jerusalem.

“There are indeed real, humanitarian concerns. We do not want the population to suffer,” she said.

1 soldier, 3 Palestinians die in clashes

Three Palestinians and an Israeli soldier were killed in clashes in the Gaza Strip on Monday, Palestinian officials and the Israeli army said.

Israeli forces operating against areas of Gaza used by Palestinians to launch rockets and mortar bombs across the border came under fire in the northern town of Beit Hanoun and near Khan Younis, a built-up refugee camp in the south.

Hamas, Gaza’s ruling Islamist group, said its fighters fired an anti-tank rocket at Israeli troops at Beit Hanoun, killing one.

The army confirmed the death, describing the soldier as a reservist, and said three soldiers were wounded in the fighting.

“We reaffirm that the enemy will never pass through our areas, except over the dead bodies of their soldiers,” Hamas’ armed wing said in a statement.

Israeli tanks and helicopters shelled Beit Hanoun during the clash, killing a gunman and a civilian, Hamas and hospital officials said. At least 12 other Palestinians were wounded.

Hamas said one of its gunmen was killed while fighting Israeli troops in Khan Younis. The Israeli army said its forces there shot two gunmen but had no word on their condition.

Israel quit Gaza in 2005 after 38 years of occupation but has regularly staged commando raids and air strikes against suspected fighter bases and rocket crews.

The soldier killed on Monday was Israel’s third combat fatality in Gaza this year.

In the occupied West Bank, an Israeli soldier was wounded when his patrol was attacked by Palestinian gunmen, the army said.

The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, a small leftist group, claimed responsibility for the ambush. Troops detained three Nablus residents.


2 Responses to “Israel’s legal adviser halts Gaza power cuts”

  1. freeisraelnow said

    Yes so sad.. that no one cares about Israeli children victims of Palestinians in Sderot from missiles attacks, “too bad” Israel taergets ONLY Terrorists, until the self destructive Palestinians will not change their situation will worsen. no matter what humane Israel’s gestures will go on, land-gifts wise or other gifts.

    You have avoided the entire QASSAM missiles threats directed on Israeli KINDERGARTENS, which is why Israel is trying to force Palestinians to leave their violence campaign.

  2. freeisraelnow said

    ISRAEL – PEACE – SURVIVAL, NOT GENOCIDE! http://freeisraelnow.wordpress.com/2007/11/19/israel-peace-survival-not-genocide

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