by Racheli Gai
The Shalom Center
This report is from “Gisha,” (Hebrew for “access” and “approach”), an Israeli not-for-profit organization, founded in 2005, whose goal is to protect the freedom of movement of Palestinians, especially Gaza residents. Gisha promotes rights guaranteed by international and Israeli law. It is one of the plaintiffs in a suit before the Israeli Supreme Court challenging the fuel cuts to Gaza.
Fuel Cuts of Up to 81%
New Electricity Cuts Beginning February 7
Monday, January 28, 2008: After more than a week of near-total ban on fuel supplies, Israel said yesterday that it would resume permitting Gaza residents to purchase fuel – but would limit the amount they could buy by as much as 81% and would cut the electricity supplied directly to Gaza beginning February 7.
The state made the announcement in advance of yesterday’s hearing in Israel’s Supreme Court, as part of its response to a court petition filed by 10 Israeli and Palestinian human rights groups challenging punitive cuts in fuel and electricity supplies to Gaza residents. The court has yet to issue a decision.
After almost totally blocking fuel supply last week, Israel through the State Attorney’s Office told the court it would resume permitting Gaza residents to purchase diesel, petrol (gasoline) and industrial diesel but would only allow them a small percentage of what they need. The State Attorney’s office also told the court that it would reduce the electricity that Israel’s Electric Company sells directly to Gaza by 5% on three lines (a total of 1.5 MW), beginning February 7.
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