Senior Israel officials said Israel will initiate a new policy of imposing restrictions on the Gaza population each time a rocket is fired from that area. Channel 2 claims the action is not meant to punish Palestinians but to implement an Israel Cabinet meeting of last month which designated Gaza as a “hostile entity.” Channel 10 says the plan entails cutting off electricity for 15 minutes ever time a Kassem rocket is launched from Gaza. According to an Israel official, “we need to show the residents of Gaza that life does not carry on freely when Kassem rockets land in Israel.” At the same time, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas told the newspaper, Al-Arabiyeh that “there are meeting between Hamas and Israel at th Erez crossing and other places” which are attempting to negotiate a way out of the present conflict in Gaza. Both Hamas and Israel officials deny such meetings have taken place.
Collective punishment was frequently discussed during WWII after the Germans used that policy to punish villages or groups of people. It was generally believed in the western world that collective punishments were characteristics of totalitarian societies, not democratic ones.