Gaza power cuts held up

Israel’s attorney general held up a proposal to reduce electricity supplies to the Gaza Strip.

After consulting with experts on humanitarian law late Monday, Menachem Mazuz blocked the planned power cuts, which Israel’s Defense Ministry had proposed as a response to Palestinian rocket fire from Gaza.

Mazuz said he had not been convinced that electricity could be limited in a way that would affect primarily areas from which rockets are launched. Questions also have arisen about whether disrupting power supplies to Gaza could put hospitals and other vital services at risk.

Mazuz invited the defense ministry to review and resubmit the plan.

The defense ministry, which already has started reducing fuel supplies to Gaza, says such sanctions are not punitive. It describes them as the completion of a “disengagement” begun with the 2005 withdrawal of Israeli troops and settlers from Gaza.

 

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