( dpa ) - Israel's Highest Court of Justice ruled Wednesday the country's decision to limit supplies to the Gaza Strip were legal, rejecting a petition by human rights groups demanding an end to the fuel cut.
Although it must guarantee that essential, humanitarian needs are met, Israel has no legal obligation to ensure the welfare of Gaza's residents or to allow unlimited supplies of goods into the Strip, the court said in its ruling.
The state must avoid deliberate harm to civilians in the Gaza Strip, the court said.
But the amounts of fuel and electricity currently being supplied by Israel are enough to meet Gazans' essential humanitarian needs, it added.
The petition was filed by two Israeli rights groups, Gisha (Hebrew for "Access") which campaigns for freedom of movement and Adalah, which campaigns for Arab minority rights in Israel, who charged the Israeli measures amount to collective punishment illegal under international law.
Israel meanwhile authorized the passage of 70 trucks with flower and animal feed Wednesday and Thursday via its Karni commercial crossing with the central Gaza Strip.
The Karni crossing had been closed completely since the radical Islamic Hamas movement seized sole control of Gaza from security forces loyal to President Mahmoud Abbas, of the rival Fatah, in June.
Another 35 trucks with basic food products and medical supplies were also authorized to enter Gaza via the southern crossing of Suffa, Israel Radio reported.
Limited supplies of diesel for Gaza's local power plant and cooking oil were also allowed in via the nearby Nahal Oz crossing for fuel.
Since Hamas' take-over in June and in response to daily rocket attacks from the Strip, Israel has obstructed the entry of non- essential goods into Gaza, such as building implements and other raw materials.
It also briefly blocked the entry of essential goods for four days earlier this month, in response to a surge in the rocket attacks.
The tightening of the already stringent economic blockade prompted Palestinian gunmen, reportedly of Hamas, to breach Gaza's southern last week. Since then, hundreds of thousands of Gazans have crossed into Egypt to stock up on scarce supplies.
The flood of Palestinians crossing into Egypt has slowed to a trickle in the past days since Cairo began attempts Friday to regain control of the breached border.
Abbas and a Hamas delegation headed by former Palestinian foreign minister Mahmoud al-Zahar and Damascus-based leader Khaled Mashaal held separate talks with Egyptian President Hozny Mubarak Wednesday to find a solution that would allow the formal reoping of the border.