Krauss in American Thinker: Israel Entitled to Reduce Supplies to Enemies

Israel has no obligation to continue supplying electricity, water, and fuel to Gaza as it has done since its departure from Gaza two years ago says Professor Michael Krauss. In his American Thinker op-ed, Kraus maintains that the Israeli cabinet's actions to declare Gaza "hostile territory" due to the actions of Hamas also allow it to protect its own citizens from harm by refusing to supply its enemy.

Feeding the Hand that Bites You, American Thinker, September 25, 2007. By Michael I. Krauss and J. Peter Pham.

"Despite the deliberative tone of the cabinet's decision -- it noted that 'sanctions will be enacted following a legal examination, while taking into account both the humanitarian aspects relevant to the Gaza Strip and the intention to avoid a humanitarian crisis' -- critics hastened to denounce the move. One United Nations official interviewed on Israeli Army Radio termed the decision a 'collective puishment' and 'a violation of international law,' while UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon declared that any interruption in the utilities would be 'contrary to Israel's obligations toward the civilian population under international humanitarian and human rights law.'

"The UN statements were, typically, hysterical in tone and dead wrong on the law. If Gaza is territory under the control of the enemy -- as it manifestly is under Hamas -- then the Israeli government is both within its rights and arguably obliged by its responsibilities to its citizens to treat the strip as 'hostile territory.' Siege and blockade of a hostile territory is a legitimate tactic of war, used in declared and undeclared (e.g., Cuban) conflicts and explicitly recognized by the 1949 Geneva Conventions. The Conventions' sole limitation is that there be 'free passage of all consignments of food-stuffs, clothing and tonics intended for children under fifteen, expectant mothers, and maternity cases' (Fourth Convention, art. 23) -- and even this exception was conditioned on there being 'no reasons for fearing... [t]hat a definite advantage may accrue to the military efforts or economy of the enemy' (for example, if resources destined for humanitarian aid will be commandeered by the enemy).  Israel has carefully respected this requirement."

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