Israel steps up genocide campaign in Gaza Strip


Richard Moore


Death and Darkness in Gaza
People are dying, Help us!

By Maan

20/01/08 "ICH" -- -- A humanitarian crisis is underway as the Gaza Strip's only 
power plant began to shut down on Sunday, and the tiny coastal territory entered
its third full day without shipments of vital food and fuel supplies due to 
Israel's punitive sanctions.

The Gaza Strip's power plant has completely shut down on Sunday because it no 
longer has the fuel needed to keep running. One of the plant's two 
electricity-generating turbines had already shut down by noon.

This will drastically reduce output to 25 or 30 megawatts, down from the 65 
megawatts the plant produces under normal conditions. By Sunday evening the 
plant will shut down completely, leaving large swaths of the Gaza Strip in 

Omar Kittaneh, the head of the Palestine Energy Authority in Ramallah, confirmed
that by tonight, the one remaining operating turbine will be powered down, and 
the Gaza power plant will no longer be generating any electricity at all.

"We have asked the Israeli government to reverse its decision and to supply fuel
to operate the power plant", Dr. Kittaneh said. "We have talked to the Israeli 
humanitarian coordination in their Ministry of Energy [National Infrastructure].
We say this is totally Israel's responsibility, and that reducing the fuel 
supplies until the plant had to shut down will affect not only the electrical 
system but the water supply, and the entire infrastructure in Gaza ­ 

After months of increasingly harsh sanctions, Israel imposed a total closure on 
the Strip's border crossings, even preventing the delivery of humanitarian aid. 
The Israeli government says the closure is punishment for an ongoing barrage of 
Palestinian homemade projectiles fired from the Gaza Strip.


180 fuel stations have shut down after Gaza residents to buy gas for cooking.

A Palestinian economist Hasan Abu Ramadan said the current humanitarian disaster
in the Gaza Strip will be deepened by the blockade on fuel and food supplies. He
warned that Gaza Strip could go from a situation of deep poverty to all out 
famine, disease, and malnutrition.

Abu Ramadan said that more than 80% of the Strip's 1.5 million residents have 
been surviving with the help of food aid from international organizations such 
as UNRWA for Palestinian refugees.

International condemnation

Most international actors in the region believe there already is a humanitarian 
crisis in Gaza, including the UN's Emergency Relief Coordinator, the 
Undersecretary-general for humanitarian affairs John Holmes, who said at a press
conference at UNHQ in New York on Friday that "This kind of action against the 
people in Gaza cannot be justified, even by those rocket attacks".

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon expressed particular concern, in a statement 
issued later on Friday through his spokesperson, about the "decision by Israel 
to close the crossing points in between Gaza and Israel used for the delivery of
humanitarian assistance. Such action cuts off the population from much-needed 
fuel supplies used to pump water and generate electricity to homes and 

The UN Human Rights Council's Special Rapporteur on the situation of human 
rights in the occupied territories, John Dugard, also issued a much sharper 
statement on Friday, saying that Israel must have foreseen the loss of life and 
injury to many nearby civilians when it targeted the Ministry of Interior 
building in Gaza City.

This, and the killings of other Palestinians during the week, plus the closures,
"raise very serious questions about Israel's respect for international law and 
its Commitment to the peace process", Dugard said. He said it violates the 
strict prohibition on collective punishment contained in the Fourth Geneva 
Convention, and one of the basic principles of international humanitarian law: 
that military action must distinguish between military targets and civilian 

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