Israel’s high court upholds choking of Gaza

Israel’s High Court of Justice Jan. 30 ruled that the blocking of power and fuel to the Gaza Strip is legal, as the remaining supplies still meet the humanitarian needs of the population. A three-justice panel, headed by Supreme Court President Dorit Beinisch, rejected petitions submitted by human rights organizations. “The Gaza Strip is controlled by a murderous terror organization, which works tirelessly to harm Israel and its citizens, and breaks every possible rule of international justice in its violent actions against men, women and children,” Justice Beinisch wrote.

Beinisch wrote that in war, civilians are the first to suffer but that in the actions against Israel, civilians were the intended target. The High Court said Israel was allowing in enough fuel to meet it obligations under international law. The petitioning human rights groups Gisha and Adalah called the ruling a “dangerous legal precedent.” Adalah head Hassan Jabarin said “according to the ruling, it is permissible to harm Palestinians and cause a humanitarian crisis to further political goals, which is a war crime according to international criminal law.” (Haaretz, Jan. 31)

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