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Electric corp. union refuses to fix Gaza lines until Israelis returned

CM 20/05/2021

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The workers’ union at the Israel Electric Corporation (IEC) announced on Thursday that it will not fix electric lines to the Gaza Strip that were damaged during the latest round of fighting until the Israelis being held by terrorist groups there are released, according to Israeli media.

“As a sign of solidarity and support for the struggle for the return of the boys, we do not intend to repair and return the power lines to Gaza that were damaged as a result of Hamas firing, until Hadar Goldin, Oron Shaul and Avera Mengistu are returned to Israel,” said the union.
“At the moment it is a declaratory step, because it is not possible to go there due to the fighting. But once there is calm, and if the management issues instructions to go and repair the lines, we as a workers’ union will ask not to connect them until the boys return,” union leader Miko Tzarfati told Globes.Tzarfati told KAN news that “IEC workers put themselves at risk and repair the lines that fall as a result of the bombings from Gaza, and do so under fire – even when it goes to the other side. The lines that have fallen now, IEC workers will not risk themselves to fix them.”Hamas has been holding the remains of Israeli soldiers Shaul and Goldin captive since Operation Protective Edge in 2013. Civilians Mengistu and Hisham al-Sayed have also been held captive by Hamas for a number of years. It is unclear why the workers’ union did not mention al-Sayed in their announcement.The IEC stressed in a statement that it is “subject to the provisions of the law and believes that electricity is an essential product outside the conflict,” according to Israeli media.

Yamina MK Idit Silman expressed support for the announcement by the IEC workers, saying “I stand behind the people of the IEC who understand that the greatest moral and social value for the citizens of Israel is to come out of the fighting in Gaza not only with reinforced deterrence, but also with all four boys back home.”

“Renewing the supply of electricity is a humanitarian act and the release of the boys is a humanitarian act of the highest order. Israeli humanitarian aid will only come if we receive our humanitarian needs from the other side,” added Silman. “If an IEC employee is called to a hearing on his refusal to repair the damaged lines, I will personally accompany him to each committee.”

Source: Jerusalem Post

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