Israel threatens to cut Gaza power, water over rockets
( AFP ) - Israeli Deputy Prime Minister Haim Ramon on Tuesday threatened to cut electricity, water and fuel supplies into Gaza if militants in the Hamas-ruled territory continued to fire rockets into Israel.
"It is unthinkable to continue to furnish Gaza with electricity, water and fuel while Israeli citizens are live targets of these rockets," Ramon, a close ally of Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, told the mass-selling Yediot Aharonot daily.
"We have to draw a line for the Palestinians. We have to make it be known that for any rocket fire, we will cut for two or three hours the supplies of water, electricity and fuel to the Gaza Strip," he said.
Environment Minister Gideon Ezra told public radio that he was also in favour of such a measure.
Israel, which withdrew settlers and troops from Gaza in 2005 after a 38-year occupation, continues to provide nearly all utilities for the impoverished territory.
Militants in Gaza regularly fire rockets and mortar shells into Israel, with most of the projectiles falling in open spaces.
On Monday seven projectiles were fired from Gaza, with one exploding near a nursery school in the southern town of Sderot, which has borne the brunt of the fire.
Gaza has been ruled since mid-June by the Islamist Hamas movement, whose charter calls for the destruction of Israel, after its fighters overran security forces loyal to moderate president Mahmud Abbas.
Israel has been unable to stamp out rocket fire from Gaza, despite regular military operations in the overcrowded coastal strip.