Israel resolute to cut Gaza electricity

Barak says large-scale operation in Gaza drawing near but would be glad if "it can be prevented."

gaza blackout 224.88 (photo credit: AP [file])
gaza blackout 224.88
(photo credit: AP [file])
Despite Attorney General Menahem Mazuz's order to review the sanctions, defense officials said Tuesday that Israel would soon begin cutting off electricity to the Gaza Strip as part of the list of measures enacted against the Palestinians in wake of the escalation in Kassam rocket attacks. On Monday, Mazuz ordered the defense establishment to research the issue and to ensure that the measure was defendable in court. On Sunday, the IDF began cutting back on its supply of fuel to the Gaza Strip in line with the cabinet's recent decision to define Gaza as a hostile entity. "In the end, the sanction will be implemented," a defense official said. "There might, however, be some changes to the dose and to the amount of time it is done for." Meanwhile Tuesday, Defense Minister Ehud Barak said that a large-scale operation in Gaza was drawing near. "Every day that passes brings us closer to a broad operation in Gaza," Barak said as he toured the North. "We are not happy to do it, we're not rushing to do it, and we'll be happy if circumstances succeed in preventing it. But the time is approaching when we'll have to undertake a broad operation in Gaza." On Tuesday night, two Kassam rockets, as well as five mortar shells, pounded Netiv Ha'asara, with one scoring a direct hit on a home in the Gaza-belt community. A woman and her granddaughter were in the house when it was hit but escaped unscathed. Islamic Jihad took responsibility for the fire. Israeli aircraft hit a police station in the southern Gaza city of Khan Yunis late Tuesday, Palestinians said, and rescue workers said at least three people were killed. The Israeli military confirmed it carried out an airstrike, saying the target was a Hamas position in southern Gaza. In a statement, the military said the attack followed the firing of mortar shells by Hamas.