April 20, 2008

Stop Supplying Gasoline to Hamas!

The residents of Sderot, represented by Attorney Nitsana Darshan- Leitner, director of Shurat HaDin Israel Law Center (http://www.israellawcenter.org), have dispatched a series of letters to Israeli government, parliamentary, military and legal officials calling upon Israel to stop supplying petroleum to the Hamas-led Gaza Strip. The residents allege in their letters that Hamas siphons off more than half of the gasoline supplied from Israel for use in terror related activities including the daily Kassam rocket attacks, the incessant shootings at the farmers in the field, as well as the murderous attack last week on the Nachal Oz gasoline depot in which two Israeli petrol workers supplying the Gaza line were killed.

"Our lives are being physically threatened daily," said Mrs. Nechi Fendel, a mother of seven who moved to Sderot from Staten Island 15 years ago and works as a computer programmer in Nachal Oz. "For eight years now we are living with non-stop rocket attacks, day in and day out. The Hamas fires endlessly at our farmers in the field, at our schools and at our homes and rather than respond and protect us, our government continues to supply the terrorists with the very gas they need to make more missiles and launch them to try and kill our kids – it's a black comedy of the absurd!"

The Sderot residents allege that Hamas is siphoning off thousands of liters of Israeli supplied gasoline on the Gaza side of the Nachal Oz depot in order to create an artificial humanitarian crisis and bring world public opinion down on Israel. Israel, on its part, claims that it continues to supply the gasoline to Gaza so it can be used for humanitarian purposes such as hospitals, schools and a variety of critical and emergency services.

"Hamas can get petroleum from Egypt via Rafah or from other sources," said Attorney Nitsana Darshan-Leitner in sending the letters. "It makes no sense for Israel to continue to supply her enemies with fuel. In 2005 Israel "disengaged" from Gaza, with Israeli Jews paying a tremendous price in social and personal suffering as a result, so why are we continuing this charade? Either we are disengaged or not!"

If the residents demand to shut down the Nachal Oz depot and stop the supply of gasoline to Hamas is not adhered to, Shurat HaDin, on behalf of the Sderot families, will be filing a petition in Israel's high court of justice requesting that the court compel the government to cease and desist the supply of fuel to Hamas. "The
supply of fuel to Hamas in Gaza is as close to aiding and abetting the enemy as one can ever come. We supply them with gasoline, Iran supplies them with training, Syria supplies them with political cover – it's a perfect recipe for continued disaster. How can we complain about Iran and Syria with a straight face if we are aiding
Hamas in the same manner " concluded Darshan-Leitner.

Shurat HaDin – Israel Law Center (http://www.israellawcenter.org) is a Jewish human rights institute based in Israel and staffed by some of the country's leading activist attorneys. Shurat HaDin is dedicated to providing legal representation and resources for the numerous courtroom struggles, which are being waged in the Israeli, American and European courts on behalf of the Jewish State and serves as a central clearinghouse and litigation base for the multifarious legal battles that have been thrust upon Israel's citizens during recent years.