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Israel threatens to cut off power, water to Gaza
Published Saturday 26/11/2011 (updated) 28/11/2011 15:21
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A Palestinian man carries his daughter on his shoulders as they hold up
candles during a protest against power cuts in Gaza City in 2010.
(AFP/Mahmud Hams)
JERUSALEM (AFP) -- Israel warned on Saturday that it would cut the supply of water and electricity to the Gaza Strip if rival Palestinian movements Fatah and Hamas form a unity government.

"The foreign ministry is examining the possibility of Israel pulling out of the Gaza Strip in terms of infrastructure," Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon told the daily Yediot Aharonot website.

A unity government deal "would transform the Palestinian Authority into a terrorist authority and would put an end to any hope for a peace agreement" with Israel, said Ayalon, who is also a Knesset deputy from the nationalist Yisrael Beitenu party.

On Friday, Israeli ministers decided to maintain a freeze on the transfer of tens of millions of dollars in tax revenues to the Palestinian Authority hours after President Mahmoud Abbas held top-level talks with Hamas chief Khalid Mashaal at which they announced a new era of "partnership."

The transfer of funds, which make up a large percentage of the authority's monthly budget, was frozen on November 1 as a punitive measure after the Palestinians won full membership of the UN cultural organization.

"If the Palestinians have signed an agreement over a unity government, it would make a transfer of funds impossible," a senior government official told AFP.

In January, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had already threatened to cut off water and power to Gaza, which has been controlled by Hamas since the Islamist group ousted Fatah from the territory in 2007.

Israel, which unilaterally withdrew from Gaza and dismantled Jewish settlements in 2005, continues to supply the territory with water and 70 percent of its electrical power, the rest being supplied by neighboring Egypt or local power plants.

Israel has imposed a land, sea and air blockade on the coastal enclave since 2007.

The International Committee of the Red Cross has called the blockade 'a collective punishment in clear violation of international humanitarian law' and urged the international community 'to ensure that repeated appeals by States and international organizations to lift the closure are finally heeded.'
1 ) AKeenReader / UK
26/11/2011 23:12
The world dares Israel to cut water & electricity to Gaza and then see the worlds reaction. It will prove to the UN what Israel is harming Palestinian people collectively which against UN charter. I hope that the UN will then agree a NO FLY Zone over Israel and the world start boycotting Israeli goods. Enough is Enough!

2 ) Steve Benassi / USA
26/11/2011 23:16
Israel's divide and rule policy must be broken by the Palestinian people through a unity government.

3 ) EE / UK
27/11/2011 00:14
It is all good - palestinians were planning to boycott Israeli products any way.

4 ) Robert Haymond / Israel/Canada
27/11/2011 00:47
Hamas promises to destroy Israel both militarily, economically, culturally and politically (see Charter). Many of us Israelis believe it is not in our best interests to facilitate Gaza, run by Hamas, in any way whatsoever. Cutting off water and electricity would appear to be a logical move. Cutting off all transit would be the best move. Let Egypt deal with Gaza.

27/11/2011 00:50
The zionists are getting desperate now these type of threats show it. Unity is the greatest weapon.

6 ) Malone / Hfx
27/11/2011 04:43
About time,long overdue...why should Israel provide water/utilities or any thing else to an enemy that has sworn to destroy them?It simply does not make sense,and never did.

7 ) Contact 'Anonymous' / Everywhere
27/11/2011 04:47
Israel is not heeding the advice of the International Community. I urge all people to contact as many 'Anonymous' Members as possible for help. Beg them to intervene on behalf of all Palestinian human rights to immediately and permanently STOP the Israeli beast from committing any further crimes. Beg them to do whatever it takes, for however long it takes to completely free Palestine forever from the evil demon called Israel.

27/11/2011 06:04

9 ) Mark of Lewiston - Make Deal / USA
27/11/2011 09:03
Palestinian reconciliation is needed. With that done a deal can be made with Egypt to get Rafah as a full crossing. Drilling equipment can follow to access Gaza gas supplies, more power, desalination. Stop rockets and Israel has no excuses to object. Learn the PR-in-America game from Fayyad or copy the Israelis. It will all make Israel irrelevant to Gaza, in very short order.

10 ) Salma / Palestine
27/11/2011 10:11
malicious, evil.

11 ) Mel / Gaza
27/11/2011 10:11
Inhumane blackmail from "the only democracy in the Middle East"!

12 ) sarah / holland
27/11/2011 11:23
to nr 4 and 6 promises to destroy Israel, Israel IS destroying Palestine since they set foot on Palestinian land. See the difference? Why Israel providing water/utilities? Maybe because you have to feed prisoners? Maybe because you cut off al in and export? Why must Egypt take care of Gaza? Gaza is Palestinian land no Egypt land. What are you doing in Palestine anyway?

13 ) makrock / india
27/11/2011 11:36
is israel affraid of palestinians?....shocking!!!!...is cutting of power and water supply truely a democratic process to acquire peace?..israel is crossing all limits of humanity for its fake existance by invading land, water, money and peace of poor and helpless people...where is human rights, intr.courts, UN and puppets of Democracy.

14 ) Tony B? / ME
27/11/2011 13:28
What the hell is Israel doing supplying them with anything in the first place? Its not like Gazans are forced to have the Hamas government. They voted for them! Did the Allies supply the German people whilst their Nazi government waged war? Its about time Israel started treating it's enemies as enemies. Israel is not occupying Gaza. Gaza is occupied by Pals who voted for their Nazi government. They are as responsible for the actions of Hamas as Germans were for their Nazi government.

15 ) Asif Gul / Pakistan
27/11/2011 15:04
Shame on Israeli People and the Neighboring Arab rulers.

16 ) southparkbear / usa
27/11/2011 15:38
why should israel provide 70% of gaza electricity? gazens ahve their brothers in egypt to work with. those brothers contribute 5% to gaza power supply while the rest is produced locally.

17 ) Incitement / USA
27/11/2011 16:21
@ Everyone #s 1 - 13, Yes, Maan News wrote the title, but that alone does NOT MAKE IT TRUE. Further, logically it would make NO sense for Israel to make Hamas lies about a Gaza humanitarian crisis true, for then the world might step in, and there has been NO mention of such a threat by Israeli media !!! Maan News: END THE INCITEMENT.

18 ) Arnold / Canada
27/11/2011 16:31
As of Sunday Nov 27 2011 Hamas and the PA still cannot reconcile so Israel's threat is moot. Is it possible both Hamas and PA realize they are wrong or just afraid of the consequences.

19 ) Philip / Ireland
27/11/2011 16:43
Israel has never supplied sufficient water to the Gaza enclave to sustain normal life. This deliberate Israeli policy forces Gazans to use desalination plants which produce water without natural chemicals. And because Israel deliberately starves Gaza of water, the natural aquifers which feed wells in Gaza have been so reduced that they are contaminated with sea-water. The people of Gaza are actually in danger of dying of thirst - a UN technical report has already identified this crime.

20 ) Business / Israel
27/11/2011 17:32
Why would the palestinians want Zionist water, electricity, medicine, or hospitals? EE is 100% correct. BDS movement will finally get it's way.

21 ) Malone / Hfx
27/11/2011 19:20
#12 Sarah...you are so uninformed...Gaza used to be part of Egypt..how about getting your info from a more credible news source,rather than all the propaganda you seem to believe in....

22 ) VM / USA
27/11/2011 21:05
About time. Enough is enough. If Palestinians want peace they can simply stop firing rockets and sending homicide bombers in.

23 ) Colin Wright / USA
27/11/2011 21:55
Short of publicly setting up gas chambers, I find it hard to imagine a more self-destructive policy for Israel to pursue. I would say shooting children would be worse, but they've already thoroughly checked that box.

24 ) Carlos / usa
28/11/2011 13:01
Israel is criminal. Israel is brutal. Israel steals murders and dissappears people. Why does Israel call itself a democracy is anyones guess. Israel does not let the expelled indigenous poputlation vote! Israel makes fun of democracy. Human rights, obeying Israeli supreme court orders are all ignored by military in Israel. Israel has never been for any kind of peace deal with the Palestinians. It has always excluded Palestinian parties from Israels government. Israel is a tyrant state.
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