B'Tselem today sent an urgent request to Israeli Defense Minister Amir Peretz to instruct Israeli forces to refrain from bombing or deliberately damaging in any way facilities that supply indispensable services to the civilian population in the Gaza Strip.
B'Tselem added that Israel has the right to all legal measures to free the abducted soldier, Corporal Gilad Shalit. However, Israel must refrain from using measures which contravene International Humanitarian Law, which categorically prohibits all sides to a conflict from attacking "objects indispensable to the survival of the civilian population".
Israel 's military operation in the Gaza Strip today included Air Force bombing of Palestinian civilian infrastructure. Among the facilities hit was the central electricity relay station south of Gaza City , which caused a widespread blackout. Damage to electricity facilities is liable to severely impair the provision of indispensable services, such as water supply and health care.