The Israeli Prime Minister Ehod Olmert stated on Monday that Israel will not allow a humanitarian crises to take place in Gaza, meanwhile the Israeli Defense Minister Ehod Barak ordered his army today to step up the siege imposed on the coastal region.
Olmert statement came as a response from both Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and Dutch Foreign Minister Maxime Verhagen. The two separately called Olmert on Monday to express great concern over the deteriorating situation in the Gaza strip due to Israeli ongoing siege and attacks on the Palestinians living there.
On Thursday last week, the Israeli government decided to keep pressure on the Gaza Strip by further attacking Palestinian resistance groups. Friday Israel declared all Gaza’s crossings completely closed, with a total halt of fuel supplies to the coastal region.
On Sunday evening a general power black out struck the coastal region since the solo Gaza power plant relies on Israeli fuel to supply Gaza with electricity. Israeli security officials admitted that the impacts of Israel’s complete cut-off of the Gaza Strip were ‘worse than they expected when they put the plan in place.’ The 1.5 million residents in the Gaza Strip are once again in a total blackout, an event that has become commonplace since Israel’s bombing of the Gaza power plant in 2006.
Meanwhile today, few hours after Olmert statement, the Israeli Defense Minister Ehod Barak ordered his army today to step up the siege imposed on the coastal region to a new level. According to Israeli Media sources the step up will include new measures; the orders said that the Israeli army will stop allowing electrical devices like laptops MP3, MP4, and GPS devices which are used by media agencies working in the Gaza Strip.
Barak stated that new set of restrictions is not to allow the ruling Hamas party of controlling and running the Gaza Strip. Hamas, however, won the Palestinian democratic elections in 2006, and again in June 2007, after several months of bloody internal struggle with the Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas Fatah Party, Hamas took total control of the coastal region.
Israel says that the fuel cut and the siege is aimed at forcing the Palestinian resistance in Gaza to stop firing home made shells at nearby Israeli towns. Palestinian resistance shells had lightly injured three Israelis last week. While in the same week the Israeli Army attacks on Gaza left 37 Palestinians killed and at least 70 others injured.