Gaza's Hamas rulers detain activist critical of the group

Gaza's Hamas rulers detain activist critical of the group

Gaza's Hamas rulers detain activist critical of the group

In comments made to a local radio, Israeli Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan said that the decision to limit the electricity supply to the Gaza Strip was to cripple the Hamas government.

The security cabinet decided Sunday to reduce the daily amount supplied to Gaza by around 45 minutes, Israeli media reported.

Adding to those woes, Abbas's Palestinian Authority has taken steps many analysts say are created to pressure Hamas, including salary cuts for PA employees in Gaza and slashed electricity payments, further worsening an already severe power shortage.

According to the briefing given to the ministers, neither Egypt nor Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas are expected to come to the aid of the Gazans, and Israel is left with no choice but to act with extreme caution to prevent the situation from escalating. The approval by Israel follows an announcement by Mr Abbas' Western-backed Palestinian Authority in April that it was cutting back its purchase of power for the Gaza Strip by $US12 million a month.

The electricity supply in Gaza fell from 12 hours to just four earlier this year after Abbas cut funding for the territory's only power plant.

Following several Arab countries' decisions to cut ties with Qatar in June, partly driven by Qatar "supporting terrorist groups", Hamas may lose some of Qatar's support.

Gaza's Hamas rulers have detained a young man who criticized the Islamic militant group's call for protests at the border that have set off deadly clashes with Israeli troops.

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Hamas, meanwhile, decried the P.A.'s decision to reduce payments and Israel's refusal to pick up the bill.

It was likely that Hamas would "lean towards political accommodation and reach a compromise deal with Abbas and Fatah that will allow the return of PA power in Gaza again", the Al Jazeera piece said.

Schanzer added that, according to his sources, part of the reason for the present electricity shortage in Gaza is that Hamas has been diverting the power supply to the underground tunnels it is once again constructing.

"In February, a United Nations watchdog group released a report showing screenshots from the Facebook pages of 40 UNRWA school employees in Gaza and other parts of the Mideast that it said 'incite to jihadist terrorism and anti-Semitism, including by posting Holocaust-denying videos and pictures celebrating Hitler, '" the Times recounted. The official estimated that the reduction would limit power in Gaza to three hours a day.

Hamas built tunnels under Gaza into Israel and Egypt to be used to smuggle food and water, and to be used to kidnap Israeli soldiers into Gaza.

He added that Hamas "warns Israeli occupation authorities against the continuation of its policy of sieging Gaza and the results it bears".

The report hasn't yet been verified by Egypt or Gaza. The prolonged sanctions game hasn't toppled Hamas, but our politicians refuse to listen to the military professionals.

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