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Defense Minister Ehud Barak
Photo: Gil Yohanan
Defense minister puts Sderot under emergency status
'Special situation on home front' declared in Gaza vicinity communities for 48 hours, status allows security forces wider jurisdiction over civil matters

The increase in Qassam rocket attacks on Sderot and the neighboring communities prompted Defense Minister Ehud Barak to declare a 'special situation on the home front' in the Gaza vicinity area on Tuesday.

 

The emergency status – which had only just been lifted in early August, was reinstated following the resurgence of heavy rocket fire from Gaza.

 

The current decree has a 48-hour lifespan but Barak has said he intends to bring the matter before the government and ask for its extension.

 

The "special situation" status is a legal term that allows the security establishment to wield a wider jurisdiction over civilian matters such as opening or closing schools and factories.

 

This way a single unifying administration would be formed to concentrate all civilian affairs, but elected officials would be included in any decision-making.

 

Meanwhile Barak ordered the defense establishment to examine the legal ramifications of cutting electricity and fuel supplies to Gaza in an effort to impair Hamas's ability to govern.

 

The possibility of a military operation is also being considered, its scope may range from a limited incursion to deal solely with the rocket-launching zones to a broad operation designed to stop Hamas' growth.

 

However sources within the security establishment have said that there is no intention to target civilians in

Gaza.

 

Barak also ordered his deputy Matan Vilna'i and Defense Ministry director-general Pinchas Buchris to expedite the manufacturing of a rocket defense system for the Gaza vicinity region.

 


פרסום ראשון: 09.04.07, 19:12
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