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High Court to consider Gaza crisis

Israel’s High Court of Justice will consider halting the blockade of the Gaza Strip.

An emergency session for Sunday was scheduled Thursday at the behest of pro-Palestinian petitioners.

The court will hear arguments that Israel’s decision to block Gazan imports, in response to a surge in cross-border salvos last week, constitutes illegal “collective punishment.”

It has often overruled Israeli security policies, though late last year the court upheld a decision by the defense ministry to reduce fuel supplies to Hamas-ruled Gaza.

Israel insists it will not allow a humanitarian crisis to unfold in Gaza, many of whose 1.5 million Palestinians live off foreign aid. Israeli President Shimon Peres and Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni stressed this point in talks with U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on the sidelines of the world economic conference in Davos, Switzerland.

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