Shedding Legal Light on the Gaza Electricity Crisis

By: Julie Webb-Pullman

The bowing of Israeli occupation authorities to the request of the Palestinian Authority to further reduce energy supplies does not exonerate them.

Israel is the main supplier of electricity and fuel to the Gaza Strip, Palestine.When the functioning of vital services such as hospitals and the pumping of clean water were seriously compromised by Israel’s reduction and limitations on the fuel supply for Gaza’s only power plant in 2007, a group of Palestinians unsuccessfully petitioned the Israeli court alleging that the reductions breached Israeli obligations under International Law. The subsequent judgment is known as the Bassiouni decision.

The Israeli state had contended that the reductions did not violate the “humanitarian minimum” – a legal standard that Israeli human rights group Gisha pointed out at the time does not in fact exist in international law. Nor does humanitarian law sanction the deliberate reduction of a population’s living standards to a ‘humanitarian minimum.’

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