Gaza Strip to Remain Without Full Electrical Power for a Year

B'Tselem: IDF bombing of Gaza power plant was war crime; electricity still cut off 3 months after IAF strike.

It could take between eight to 14 months to fix a Gaza Strip power plant destroyed in an Israel Air Force strike in late June, and to restore full electrical power to the region.

Israeli human rights organization B'Tselem has accused the Israel Defense Forces of war crimes for bombing the plant, which has left many areas of the Gaza Strip without full electricitical power the last three months.

Electricity in many areas is cut off for half of the day, severely hampering hospitals, the water supply and sewage systems, B'Tselem said in a report.

An IAF aircraft struck the power plant on June 28. The attack came at the start of a major IDF offensive in Gaza following the abduction of an IDF soldier and the killing of two others by Palestinian militants linked to Hamas.

"B'Tselem determines that the bombing of the power plant was illegal and defined as a war crimes in International Humanitarian Law, as the attack was aimed at a purely civilian object," according to the report.

"There was no apparent military basis for the action and it seems that its intention was to satisfy a desire for revenge."

Israel could have, instead of taking such drastic military action, cut off the electric supply to Gaza through the Israel Electric Corporation although this would have been illegal as well, the group said.

B'Tselem demanded that the government open an investigation into the bombing of the plant.