Israel brands Gaza ‘enemy

Israel declared the Gaza Strip an “enemy entity” and prepared to impose economic sanctions on the territory.

Convening Wednesday to decide on a response to Palestinian rocket fire from Gaza, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert’s Security Cabinet voted unanimously to brand the territory, which has been under full Hamas rule since June, an “enemy entity.”

The designation could allow Israel to argue that it owes Gazans no support in terms of allowing movement of goods and people across the shared border.

The Security Cabinet further agreed to restrict imports to Gaza, as well as Israeli supplies of fuel and electricity, though implementation of the sanctions was delayed pending consulations with experts on humanitarian law.

Hamas, which has either ignored or abetted the rocket salvoes, denounced the Israeli decision as a “declaration of war.”

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