While the government pushes for a cease-fire in the current round of fighting with Hamas, Israelis around the country took to the streets Thursday demanding a more definitive ending to Operation Protective Edge – at the very least turning off the electricity in Gaza in order to bring about a fall of Hamas control of Gaza.
While a number of political figures and security experts in recent days have said that the only way Israel can end the threat of future rounds of rocket warfare by Gaza terrorists was to destroy Hamas, by entering Gaza and cleaning it out of Hamas influence, protesters in cities and major junctions said that cutting off power to Gaza was a non-lethal way to bring Hamas to its knees.
“We cannot tolerate a situation where we continue to supply Gaza with electricity while they fire rockets at us,” say organizers of the protests. “It is immoral, unjust, and illogical for Israeli citizens to be paying for the electricity being used to develop and fire rockets on innocent citizens. Gaza has not paid for its electricity for a long time, and now owes Israel NIS 220 million in unpaid power bills. If you or I miss a month or two of payments, they turn off the electricity in our house, but Hamas chisels its way out of the Gaza bill with no consequences.”
Former Deputy Defense Minister Danny Danon last week vowed to stop Israel's supplying of power to Gaza. "We have to stop the entry of fuel and electricity to Gaza immediately," Danon stated. "You cannot fight Hamas on the one hand and provide electricity and fuel to transport the missiles fired at us on the other."
Danon's statements echo similar calls by Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz (Likud), who made a strong argument for the move earlier this month. "We need to break away from the population in Gaza," he said. "We need to set boundaries and say goodbye to Gaza until there is peace - no fuel, no electricity, no water, no food.
"It makes no sense for Israel to give the enemy these things," he continued. "We are responsible for an area which has no authority.”