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Palestinian power struggle threatens further Gaza power cuts

Read original article on The Washington Post or read some of the key points below;

  1. “When Gaza’s 2 million residents break their dawn-to-dusk fast during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, much of the territory is engulfed by darkness and homes have to rely on generators or batteries for the post-sundown family meals. Rolling power cuts, a mainstay of life in a decade in the blockaded Gaza Strip, have never been worse, largely because of the international isolation of Hamas. Israel and Egypt, which border the coastal strip, imposed a blockade on the territory after Hamas’ takeover in 2007.”
  2. “Power is only on for four hours at a time, followed by 14 to 18 hours of outage — and the blackouts could grow even longer amid an escalating struggle for dominance between Hamas and its West Bank-based rival, the Palestinian Authority of internationally backed President Mahmoud Abbas.”
  3. “In some apartment buildings, residents have pooled resources to buy communal generators. Most Gazans buy food daily because they can no longer use refrigerators. Formerly routine activities such as showering or running a washing machine are done at odd hours, when power is on. “Now we are entering the second or third month of four hours of electricity, yet there is no sign of public protest, it’s a political problem!,” said Ashour, a pharmacist.”
  4. “Hamas could not afford to buy new fuel, leaving Gaza with 10 power lines from Israel as the main source of electricity — about 30 percent of the territory’s needs. The Israeli electricity is funded by the Abbas government at a cost of about $11 million a month. The monthly payment is deducted by Israel from customs and tax reimbursements it collects on behalf of the Palestinian Authority every month.”
  5. “In a letter published by the Israeli media last week, Steinitz wrote to Mordechai that “we should be the ones to decide where to cut electricity,” sarcastically suggesting the Abbas headquarters in Ramallah as a starting point. Israel should “not become a pawn in their hands,” Steinitz wrote to Mordechai, referring to the Palestinians.”

 

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