By AFP – Jun 15,2017 – JORDAN TIMES
Newborns are seen at Shifa hospital in Gaza City on Monday (Reuters photo by Mohammed Salem)
OCCUPIED JERUSALEM — Israeli and international NGOs joined the UN on Wednesday in warning of a “total collapse” in Gaza if Israel goes ahead with plans to further cut power supplies to the enclave.
A joint statement of 16 groups, among them Israel’s B’Tselem, Peace Now and Rabbis for Human Rights along with Amnesty International, said they has asked Israel’s attorney general to intervene.
Gazans currently receive only three to four hours of mains electricity a day, delivered from the territory’s own power station and others in Israel and Egypt.
Senior Israeli ministers decided on Sunday to reduce the amount of electricity supplied to Gaza by between 45 and 60 minutes a day after Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas cut funding for it by his West Bank-based Palestinian Authority.
The move was widely seen as an attempt by the Palestinian leader to step up pressure on his rivals in the Islamist movement Hamas which runs the Gaza Strip.
“A group of civil society organisations… sent an urgent letter today to attorney general Avichai Mandelblit demanding that he advise the members of the security Cabinet to immediately rescind [its] decision to reduce the supply of electricity sold and provided by Israel to the Gaza Strip,” the NGOs said in their statement.
They said further cuts would contravene a 2008 Israeli supreme court ruling that years of Israeli control over the strip had created near-total dependence on power supply from Israel and it must therefore continue to provide sufficient electricity to meet humanitarian needs.
Amnesty warned in a separate statement of a “looming humanitarian catastrophe”.