Israel slammed for punishing Gaza

Tuesday, October 30, 2007 |  by Staff Writer

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Monday issued a statement harshly criticizing Israel for imposing a very limited fuel and electricity embargo on the Gaza Strip in response to repeated terrorist rocket attacks emanating from the territory.

Ban accused Israel of imposing collective punishment on the entire Gaza population in retaliation for the actions of a few.

The European Union issued a similar statement earlier in the day.

Both statements of condemnation gave little attention to the ongoing rocket attacks on southern Israel towns being launched almost daily by Palestinians operating out of the Gaza Strip. The attacks have forced residents in some southern Israel communities to live a life under siege for over five years.

Israel decided to impose the limited fuel and electricity sanctions instead of launching a widespread military operation against the terrorist rocket cells in order to spare the lives of innocent Palestinians who would undoubtedly be used as shields by the terrorists.

But the international condemnation of the sanctions led Israeli Attorney General Menachem Mazuz to temporarily prohibit the move, leaving Israel with little choice but to act militarily if the attacks continue.

Meanwhile, army sources told Ha'aretz that the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) is slowly losing its tactical advantage over Gaza's Hamas rulers due to Iranian training of Hamas forces and an enormous influx of arms and military equipment since Israel withdrew from Gaza in 2005.

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