Following the PA’s lead, Israel is reducing the power it supplies to Gaza.
Israel’s security cabinet voted Sunday to decrease the amount of electricity provided to Gaza, cutting back on one hour of power a day and leaving it with just three.
The decision was made following a push by the Palestinian Authority (PA). PA head Mahmoud Abbas has been waging a battle against Gaza in an attempt to weaken the Hamas terror group, which rules Gaza.
Abbas recently cut funds to Israel, allocated for Gaza’s electricity, by 35 percent. Israel decided not to intervene in internal Palestinian struggles and followed his lead.
However, Israel has been seeking other ways to ward off a possible humanitarian crisis in Gaza. Speaking to IDF Radio on Monday, Minister of Public Security and Strategic Affairs Gilad Erdan explained that the power cut was aimed at, and hindering, Hamas’ terror infrastructure.
“Hamas in Gaza activates terrorism against the citizens of the state of Israel, and they have previously received support from Qatar and other countries, but they usually choose to invest the funds in terror infrastructure.”
Major General Yoav Mordechai, head of the IDF’s Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT), said last month that Israel could be forced to cut electricity to the Gaza Strip. “The reason is that Hamas prefers to use the money for digging tunnels…and the people get only what is left over from that,” he said.
“Israel today is the only one supplying electricity to the Gaza Strip,” Mordechai noted, “but unfortunately, there are problems between Hamas in the Gaza Strip and the PA in Ramallah, which caused the PA to decide not to pay for the electricity.”
“If the electricity is going for tunnels and Fathi Hamad, a Hamas leader who has four wives, three homes, and electricity 24 hours a day, and two million Palestinians have electricity for four hours a day, does that make any sense?” he asked. “Those are Hamas’ priorities with the people.”
This development is the latest phase in an ongoing power struggle between the rival Palestinian factions.
As is often the case, the struggle comes at the expense of the locals.
By: Aryeh Savir, World Israel News