Gaza power plant
Photo: AFP

Petition: Prevent reduction of Gaza fuel, electricity supply

Israeli, Palestinian human rights groups say sanctions constitute 'collective punishment of a million-and-a-half Palestinians'

Israeli and Palestinian human rights groups petitioned the High Court on Sunday to issue an interim injunction to delay the reduction of fuel and electricity supplies to Gaza.


In the petition, the groups wrote that the move constitutes "the collective punishment of a million-and-a-half Palestinians."


According to the plaintiffs, the "illegal" reduction of fuel supplies would result in "irreversible damage to the health and welfare of the residents of Gaza.


"In contrast to claims made by Defense Minister Ehud Barak that the sanctions would cause limited damage to civilians, (we believe) that they may cause such large-scale damage that lives would be put at risk as a result of hospitals having difficulty functioning and the damage done to the sewage and water systems," the petition read.


Last Thursday Barak gave the green light to reduce the amount of power Israel supplies to the Gaza Strip in response to Palestinian rocket attacks from the Hamas-controlled territory.


'More responsibility on Israel's shoulders'

Security sources explained that the decision was not part of punitive measures, but rather the implementation of Israel's gradual disengagement from Gaza following Hamas' takeover of the Strip. The petitioners claimed that the decision was in violation of international law, which they said strictly forbids collective punishment.


The human rights groups said Gaza's dependency on Israel for electricity was the result of the Jewish State's "direct control over the Strip for the past 38 years.


"Israel made certain that only a limited local electrical infrastructure would be built in Gaza (43% of the overall electricity consumption), and a year after the disengagement, Israel destroyed the local power plant," they said.


According to the plaintiffs, this manner of conduct places even more responsibility on Israel's shoulders towards the residents of Gaza, "especially with regards to supplying electricity." 


פרסום ראשון: 10.28.07, 20:37
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