28 October 2007 – Petition filed: Ten Palestinian and Israeli human rights organizations, represented by Adalah and Gisha, petitioned the Supreme Court of Israel to demand an injunction against the state to prevent it from disrupting the supply of electricity and fuel to Gaza. The petitioners argued that the government’s decision of September 2007 to interrupt electricity and fuel supplies to occupied Gaza is illegal, and would endanger innocent civilians.
7 November 2007 – Supreme Court hearing: The court held a hearing on the petition, at which it ordered the state to present it with data by 14 November to substantiate its claim that cutting fuel and electricity supplies will have only a slight effect on the humanitarian situation in Gaza, and to detail the means it will use to monitor the humanitarian situation. The petitioners emphasized Gaza’s dependency on Israel for its electricity and fuel needs, given that Israel has permitted the establishment of a very limited electricity network in the Strip able to provide just 38% of its electricity needs.
15 November 2007 – Motion for injunction: The petitioners filed an urgent motion to the court, requesting an injunction to prevent the Defense Minister from cutting, reducing, limiting or disrupting the supply of electricity and fuel to Gaza, after the Attorney General’s Office failed to comply with the court’s orders to provide data on its plan to reduce electricity supplies to the Gaza Strip.
29 November 2007 – Supreme Court hearing: The court held a hearing on the petition, at which the petitioners argued that the reduction in fuel supplies has caused extensive damage to vital systems in Gaza, including water wells. Gaza’s population is being affected directly; e.g., around 250,000 Palestinians are suffering from disrupted water supplies. The petitioners emphasized that the disruptions to the supply of essential goods and services do not constitute economic sanctions, as Israel claims, but collective punishment.
30 November 2007 – Supreme Court decision: The Supreme Court approved the government’s decision to cut fuel supplies to Gaza. The petitioners stated that the court’s decision violates the basic principles of international humanitarian law, which prohibit using civilians for political purposes and that these actions amount to collective punishment. The court also ordered the state not to cut electricity supplies for a period of at least two weeks, during which time it should present a “detailed report” to the court, containing information regarding the effects of the plan to cut electricity supplies on the Palestinian population.
19 December 2007 – The state’s response: The Attorney General’s Office presented data to the court regarding the government’s plan to cut electricity supplies to Gaza. In the document, the State Attorney admitted that the plan is based on erroneous data regarding the amount of electricity supplied by Israel. According to the document, security officials who designed the plan to reduce electricity did not even know how much electricity is currently being supplied to Gaza. The petitioners argued that the state’s admission is further proof that it cannot monitor the harm that cutting electricity would cause to Gaza’s infrastructure, especially hospitals and water wells, already suffering from a 20% electricity deficit and the effects of six months of border closures.
25 December 2007 – Supreme Court order: The court sharply criticized the state for providing it with erroneous information on the grounds that, “The facts were not properly investigated … The course of events described above is puzzling,” and ordered the state to complete the data regarding its plan to reduce electricity supplies to Gaza.
3 January 2008 – Motion for injunction: The petitioners filed an urgent motion to the court to stop Israel’s restrictions on the supply of industrial diesel and asked for an immediate hearing in the hope of preventing power outages. The request was rejected.
5 January 2008 – Motion for injunction: The petitioners asked the Supreme Court to intervene in Israel’s cuts to fuel supplies entering the Gaza Strip, which had led to a 30% fall in the production of Gaza’s power plant after the plant had exhausted its fuel reserves. The plant was forced to schedule up to eight hours of daily rolling blackouts.
13 January 2008 – Supreme Court decision: The court rejected the petitioners’ urgent request to stop Israel’s restrictions on the supply of industrial diesel to Gaza.
21 January 2008 – Motion for injunction: The petitioners filed an urgent motion to the Supreme Court of Israel, demanding that the court issue an injunction to prevent Israel from continuing to cut the supply of industrial fuel to the Gaza Strip. The motion followed a night on which Gaza was plunged into darkness by the severe shortage of industrial diesel fuel, which threatened the operation of vital systems, including the water and sewage systems.
27 January 2008 – Supreme Court hearing: The Supreme Court will hold a hearing on the petitioners’ urgent motion for an injunction to prevent further cuts in industrial fuel and on and the government’s plan to cut back supplies of electricity to Gaza and the related ramifications for the civilian population. The hearing was set after Israel allowed a shipment of fuel and medical supplies into Gaza for the first time in five days, allowing the power plant to resume operations on 22 January.
30 January 2008 – Supreme Court rejects the petition: The Supreme Court's decision allows the state to proceed with its plan to cut electricity sold directly by Israel's Electric Company to Gaza, which is already experiencing a 20% electricity deficit, which is forcing rolling blackouts in hospitals and other vital humanitarian institutions.