( AP ) - A top Israeli defense official said Thursday that Israel wants to relinquish all responsibility for the Gaza Strip, including the supply of electricity and water, now that the territory's southern border with Egypt has been opened.
"We need to understand that when Gaza is open to the other side we lose responsibility for it," Deputy Defense Minister Matan Vilnai said, according to his office. "So we want to disconnect from it."
It was not immediately clear if Vilnai spoke for the entire government.
"We want to stop supplying electricity to them, stop supplying them with water and medicine, so that it would come from another place," Vilnai said.
Israel will continue to be responsible for the flow of such supplies into the Gaza Strip until an alternative is found, the office quoted him as saying.
Vilnai spoke as thousands of Gazans flooded into Egypt the day after most of the wall on the border was toppled. Israel imposed a blockade on the Gaza Strip a week ago, allowing only minimal humanitarian supplies and fuel for a power station in retaliation for a rise in rocket fire on southern Israel.