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Report: Israeli defense minister insists on Gaza sanctions
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09:42, November 12, 2007

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Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak said on Sunday that "some power restriction will be placed on Gaza" despite Attorney General Menachem Mazuz's ban on the energy cutoff, local daily Yedioth Ahronoth reported on its website.

According to the report, Barak announced his intentions to go ahead with the power restriction during Sunday's cabinet meeting. His proposal was immediately backed up by both Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Justice Minister Daniel Friedmann.

On Oct. 25, Barak approved a plan to cut off fuel and electricity supply to the Gaza Strip in response to the frequent rocket attacks launched by Palestinian militants in Gaza.

The plan started to implement on Oct. 28, but was frozen by Mazuz a day later. According to the Mazuz's decision, the cutoff must not be implemented until a mechanism can be worked out which would prevent "collective punishment" of the Palestinians.

According to Yedioth Ahronoth, the Defense Ministry is still trying to devise ways to disrupt the electrical power in Gaza, regardless of Mazuz's limitations and even if the move causes an altercation with the UN or human rights organizations.

Barak was quoted as saying at the cabinet meeting that "we are in the process of restricting the fuel supplies to the Gaza Strip and power cuts are not far behind."

One of the possibilities, the report said, is to use devices that would disrupt the power supply without cutting it completely, thus making the Palestinian militants difficult to manufacture Qassam rockets on the one hand, while causing minimal inconvenience to the general population on the other.

Source: Xinhua



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