Davar. 4 December 1992, By: Michal Sela.
The Military Administration in the Gaza Strip area has cut off, on the 15th of November, the electricity supply to some 50,000 Palestinian inhabitants in the northern Gaza Strip, between Beit Lahya and Jebalya, because of unpaid debts. As a result, the inhabitants have also no water in their houses. More seriously, the military authorities refuse to connect to the electricity and to those residents who have settled their debts to the electricity corporation, claiming that the current will not be restored till all inhabitants in the whole area have paid their debts. The Civil Rights Association says that the Military Administration is imposing an unlawful collective punishment. .
After the current was cut off, four of the inhabitants of the area, in the name of 120 families, have taken steps to settle their individual debts. Four person, who live In the Mashrua Amar neighbourhood, have paid their own debt and the debts of 120 families In their housing area on the 18th of November. In a declaration submitted by the four to Advocate Tamar Peleg of the Civil Rights Assoclalton, the four declared that in spite of the debt settlement the municipality has not renewed the electricity supply on the orders of the authorities, The four then met on 23d of November with an officer of the Civil Administration, Abu AI Amir, who promised to speak with the deputy chief of the local administration, Abu Sharif. Abu Sharif told the plaintiffs on the 24th of November, that "if we wish that the current is reconnected to our houses, we have to go to all inhabitants of Mashrua Amar and collect from them their debts". "We told him that we represent only our block, whose residents have paid what is due from them", said the four. Till today there is no electricity in the houses of the citizens who paid their bills.
Advocate Peleg says in a letter of 2nd December to the legal advisor of the Gaza Strip area, that if the supply of water and electricity services to somebody who paid his bills, is made conditional on the behavior of somebody else, this is an unlawfdul collective punishment. She asks him to take steps to repair the injustice.
The Civil Administration in Gaza says that the issue is not within its competence, but is handled by the Electricity Corporation.