High Court backs Gaza fuel cuts

Israel’s High Court of Justice upheld the government’s reduction in fuel supplies to the Gaza Strip.

The High Court on Friday rejected petitions by human-rights groups which had argued that the Israeli Defense Ministry’s decision last month to reduce fuel supplies to Gaza in response to Palestinian rocket fire constituted illegal “collective punishment”.

In its ruling, the three-justice panel said it had been persuaded that Israel has not deprived Hamas-ruled Gaza’s 1.5 million Palestinians of fuel required for “humanitarian” activities like running the territory’s power plant.

But the High Court postponed a Defense Ministry plan to begin cutting back Israeli-supplied electricity to Gaza on Sunday, saying it wanted more details on how that measure would affect the Palestinian populace. The government was given 12 days to respond, after which the petitioners will have a week for rebuttals.

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