Israeli Energy Cuts Violate International Humanitarian Law, is Collective Punishment
Washington, DC | February 8, 2008 | www.adc.org | The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) strongly objects to Israel‘s continued cutting of fuel and electricity to the Gaza Strip. Human Rights Watch yesterday released a report detailing the negative and adverse impact of these cuts on the civilian population, read the full report at: http://hrw.org/english/docs/2008/02/07/isrlpa17994.htm
The Gaza Strip is one of the most densely populated places on earth with almost half of the population under the age of 15. More than 1.5 million people live in the 140 square miles (360 square kilometers) which is the Gaza Strip. According to the UN Development Programme (UNDP), 84.6% of Gaza’s residents live below the poverty line (US $ 2/day). ADC reiterates the fact that despite its unilateral withdrawal from Gaza in 2005, Israel continues its occupation because it has control over Gaza’s land, sea, and air borders; utilities; tax revenue; and internal economy.
According to the United Nations, Gaza requires approximately 240 megawatts of power daily in the winter. Due to Israel‘s cuts, the Gaza Electricity Distribution Company has been forced to operate at less than 190 megawatts and has instituted rolling blackouts of up to eight hours per day in some areas. Cutting supplies of fuel and electricity affects Gaza‘s hospitals, schools, water-pumping stations, sewage treatment facilities, and other infrastructure vital to the health and well being of Gazans is collective punishment.