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Israel high court blocks planned Gaza electricity cuts

[JURIST] The Israeli Supreme Court [official website] ruled Friday that the government cannot proceed with plans to cut electricity to the Gaza Strip [BBC backgrounder] this weekend. The court did allow, however, a continuation of fuel supply cuts to the region, which began last month. According to AP, the three-judge panel wrote that "we were not convinced that the decision by (the state) to limit the amount of fuel transferred to the Gaza Strip harms, at this point, vital humanitarian needs in the strip." The electricity cuts were postponed because the plan lacked details on its extent. The court gave the government 12 days to address those concerns.

Shortly after the plan was announced last month, the electricity cuts were temporarily suspended [JURIST report], pending legal challenges [press release; JURIST report] from several human rights groups. The human rights groups allege that the Israeli government's plan to restrict energy supplies in Gaza constituted collective punishment [backgrounder] and had unsuccessfully sought an injunction against the government policy. Israeli officials say that cutting back energy supplies was the only option the Israeli government has aside from a full-scale military operation against Hamas [BBC backgrounder], which has refused to halt indiscriminate rocket attacks against Israeli positions from Gaza. AP has more.

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Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

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