Israel mulls punishing Gaza over rocket fire

Wednesday, September 05, 2007 |  by Staff Writer

Israel's security cabinet met on Wednesday to discuss the possibility of imposing harsh sanctions on the Gaza Strip in response to ongoing rocket fire from Palestinian terrorists operating freely there.

The suggestions presented to the cabinet included cutting off water, electrical and fuel supplies to Gaza, as well as closing the border to the import of basic commodities, according to Ha'aretz. Gaza is connected to Israel's national infrastructure grid, from which it receives most of its water and electricity.

Defense Minister Ehud Barak has reportedly already instructed the army to examine the legality of imposing such sanctions.

Many believe that the cutting off of basic services would be followed by a large-scale Israeli ground incursion into northern Gaza, but government officials indicated that Prime Minister Ehud Olmert remains opposed to increased military actions to protect residents of southern Israel from Palestinian attacks.

The discussion comes just two days after a Palestinian rocket landed next to a day care center in the town of Sderot, resulting in 12 children being evacuated to a nearby hospital to be treated for shock.

Army officials told Ynet that the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) is standing ready to invade Gaza should the government change its mind about how to best defend the nation's citizens.

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