Hamas in Gaza says it won't be cowed by Abbas' threats

Miranda GreerApr 29, 2017

On Thursday, the Israeli military's Co-ordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (Cogat) announced that it had been notified by the PA that payments for electricity supplied to Gaza would stop immediately.

The assertions came at a press conference convened by leading Hamas member Salah al-Bardawil, at which he said the group was prepared to dissolve an "administrative committee" established last month to coordinate between Gaza's public institutions.

Less than an hour later, an Israel Defense Forces (IDF) tank targeted a post belonging to the Hamas movement in the southern Gaza Strip, the spokesman added.

The announcement, informing Israel about the cut in funding, is part of the serious internal confrontation between the Authority and Hamas over controlling the Gaza Strip.

While Israel views Barghouti as a security threat, opinion polls have consistently shown him to be the most popular choice among Palestinians to succeed Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

On Thursday, nearly all businesses and schools remained closed, and public transport stayed off the streets in all cities across the occupied West Bank.

Palestinian leader Marwan Barghouti's health has declined seriously over the past week after he joined a hunger strike with more than a thousand other prisoners in Israel, a nongovernmental organisation (NGO) said on Monday. They probably figure the world will blame Israel for the ensuing humanitarian crisis anyway, so all good.

The shortages hit hospitals, clinics, water supply and other vital services, as well as household needs, she said.

The statement said that Israel would be held responsible for the lives of all Palestinian prisoners and for "any unrest in the region that may emerge as a result of Israel's stubbornness and indifference toward these prisoners' demands", Maan reported.

That goal is not met even when the power plant is operational.

Days later, malfunctioning power lines coming from Egypt, which accounts for 15% of the supply, exacerbated the outages.

In the program, Hamas characterizes itself as a Palestinian resistance movement against Israeli occupation, dropping references to holy war against Jews.

"Easing of Israeli restrictions on external trade. and opening up access to Gaza is essential to expand private sector growth and employment", the report said.

The report is to be presented at a May 4 meeting in Brussels of the Ad Hoc Liaison Committee, which coordinates global donor support for the Palestinians.

United States president Donald Trump is to host Mr Abbas at the White House the day before, for talks on efforts to revive the Middle East peace process.

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