Gov't freezes Gaza power cutbacks

Temporary decision comes after rights groups petition High Court against fuel and power cuts.

Following an appeal to the High Court of Justice from Adalah, the Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel, against the decision to cut off electricity to Gaza for short periods of time following Kassam attacks, Attorney General Menahem Mazuz has decided to convene a special meeting on the matter with representatives from the Defense Ministry, and for the time being, the decision to cut off electricity has been frozen, Army Radio reported. Adalah and several other human rights organizations also pushed the high court to issue an injunction against the government's decision to curb the flow of electricity and fuel to the strip. Deputy Supreme Court President Eliezer Rivlin refused to issue an injuction, but requested that the state respond to the allegations. "The collective punishment of a million and a half Palestinians in Gaza is illegal and will cause irreparable damage to the health and wellbeing of the residents of the Strip," the human rights group said. "Despite the government's claims, that the residents of Gaza will suffer minimal harm from the move, the disruptions may create a humanitarian crisis that could endanger human lives."