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Attorney General Blocks Decision to Curtail Gaza Power

Israel‘s attorney general has blocked the Israeli defense minister’s decision to respond to Palestinian rocket fire by reducing power to the Gaza Strip. Last week Defense Minister Ehud Barak announced that when Qassam rockets are launched at Israel the response will be to reduce electricity by one percent for short periods of time. Deliveries of fuel – except that used to power Gaza‘s electric generators – would also be reduced. Attorney-General Menahem Mazuz let stand plans for economic sanctions. In a Justice Ministry statement Mazuz said such sanctions "must be conditioned… on the risk of exacerbating humanitarian difficulties for the civilian population in Gaza." U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon had accused Israel of inflicting collective punishment on the people of the Gaza Strip.