The Israel Electric Company (IEC) union said on Thursday that it will not repair electrical lines to the Gaza Strip that were destroyed during the latest exchange of fire until the Israeli soldiers being held captive by Hamas are released, according to Israeli media.
“As a show of solidarity and support for the struggle for the return the men, we have no intention of fixing and erecting the power lines to Gaza that were damaged due to Hamas firing, until Hadar Golden, Oron Shaul and Avira Mangistu are brought back to Israel,” the union said in a statement.
“As of now, it’s a declaratory move, as it is impossible to go there because of the fighting. But as soon as calm ensues, and if the management gives orders to go in and fix the lines, we as a workers’ union will request to not connect them until the boys return,” union leader Miko Tzarfati said to Globes.
Tzarfati told Kann news that the electric company employees: “place themselves at risk and fix the fallen lines due to the rockets from Gaza, and do it under fire – even when it goes to the other side. IEC workers will not take the risk themselves to fix the lines that are currently down.”
Hamas has been holding the remains of IDF soldiers Golden and Shaul captive since 2013’s Operation Protective Edge. Civilians Mangistu and Hisham al-Sayed are also being held captive by Hamas for several years.
The IEC added that it is “subject to the provisions of the law and believes that electricity is an essential product outside the conflict,” Israeli media reports.
Israeli political figure and talk show host Moshe Feiglin hailed the announcement while noting the irony of the situation saying: “There is no country that provides electricity to those who blow up its cities.”
He also expressed optimism that the plan might just work adding a passage from Jeremiah saying: “If the workers union does not fold, there is a chance that the boys will return.”
The comment about the ‘boys returning’ is a reference to Jeremiah:
And there is hope for your future —declares Hashem: Your children shall return to their country. (Jeremiah 31:16)