A committee of security officials set up following the cabinet's decision last week to define Gaza as "hostile territory" has submitted several recommendations for punitive measures that can quickly be implemented following a Palestinian rocket attack, including a recommendation that Gaza be penalized seven megawatt-hours of electricity following every attack. In addition, after every mortar or rocket attack on a Gaza crossing, the defense establishment has decided to automatically close it for 48 hours. "We looked for things that would disrupt life but would be mild enough that they could be defended according to international law," a senior defense official said.
Some defense officials said cuts to electricity would not be enough to stop the rocket attacks. The only real way to pressure Hamas, they said, was to completely cut off supplies to Gaza and allow a humanitarian crisis to develop. "This is not something that we are going to do," one official said. "But it is really the only way." Around 62.5% of Gaza's electricity is provided directly by Israel, 28.6% comes from Gaza's power plant and 8.8% comes from Egypt, according to Stuart Shepherd of the UN's Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.