Israel's decision on Wednesday to declare the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip a hostile enemy entity and to reduce the supply of basic services to it has elicited disparate responses from the international community ranging from disapproval at the UN to outright support in Washington.
Israel's security cabinet made the decision in light of ongoing rocket attacks from Gaza on military and civilian targets in southern Israel.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon responded by saying it would be illegal for Israel to stop supplying electricity and fuel to Gaza, and urged Israel to reverse its decision.
Israel, however, insists that it no longer has any legal humanitarian obligations to the residents of Gaza, since it fully ended its so-called “occupation” of that territory in 2005.
Visiting US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, meanwhile, expressed support for the Israeli move, saying that while America did not intend to abandon the Palestinians, and did not believe Israel would do so either, the Hamas regime is indeed a hostile entity and should be isolated.
Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas predictably denounced the Israeli move as “oppressive,” while ignoring completely the daily rocket attacks on Israeli civilians that resulted in Jerusalem taking such measures.