Friday, December 07, 2007
ISRAELI LEFTISTS ANNOUNCE MOCK POWER OUTAGES
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.
So some Israeli activists decided to give a demonstration about what the loss of power would mean to Israeli's in Israel,s two largest cities (see article which follows).
Even before the court's decision thanks to a month old Israeli reduction if fuel shipments gas stations across the Gaza Strip had shut their pumps. Tens of thousands of people had no fresh water. Hospitals have grounded ambulances, and bicycles are the new favored form of transportation.
Between Hamas and the Israeli government, it seems unlikely that anything can be done to me.
The following is from Ha'aretz.
Leftists announce mock power cuts to protest Gaza fuel slash
Residents of Tel Aviv and Jerusalem were surprised Thursday morning to find on the doors to their homes mock notices announcing that the flow of electricity to the two cities would be cut off next week.
The 10,000 or so fake notices were posted across both cities by some 70 left-wing activists in response to the government’s decision to reduce the supply of fuel to the Gaza Strip, and its plan to cut power flow in the near future.
The High Court of Justice on Sunday ordered the state to delay its reduction of power supplies to the Gaza Strip by at least one week, pending a full presentation detailing the proposed operation.
The justices upheld the state’s plan to reduce fuel transfers to the Strip, as long as the humanitarian needs of Gaza’s residents were given primary consideration.
The notices posted Thursday by the activists read: “We wish to inform you that there will be a wave of cessation and severance of electricity. We have no choice but to cut off power and we are forced to do it because in your cities reside the commanders of an army that harms civilians in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.”
“For humanitarian reasons, the cessation of electricity will not be permanent and should leave you to consider: should the flow allotted be directed to hospitals, water systems, sewers or private homes. We apologize for the temporary inconvenience this might cause you and emphasize that this is a necessary defense move,” read the notices.
According to the activists, the notices were hung to draw attention to the government’s “arbitrary” decision to cut fuel and power from the civilian Palestinian population.
“There is no legitimacy for the collective punishment on civilians. We are talking about a move that even the army has admitted has no chance of stopping Qassam fire on Sderot.”
“Through this activity we are interested in raising the awareness of Israeli citizens to the arbitrariness of these offensive moves and to try to create solidarity with the plight of civilians in Gaza,” said the activists.