Gaza’s power authority on Friday temporarily cut off electricity to all districts of the besieged Gaza Strip in protest of “unfair measures” imposed on the coastal enclave, as Hamas and the Fatah-ruled Palestinian Authority (PA) have continued to blame each other for a deepening crisis in the small Palestinian territory.This is nothing new. Hamas has engineered fuel crises in Gaza many times before and their bickering with the PA over fuel taxes has been a sore point for years.
The authority said in a statement earlier on Friday that the decision was in response to “popular events” that have been organized lately to protest recent measures imposed on Gaza, notably the drastic cut of salaries of PA employees in the besieged territory and renewed conflict over the taxes on electricity levied on Gaza amid a deepening electricity crisis.
Electricity will be cut off completely in Gaza from 7 p.m. until 11 p.m. on Friday, the statement said.
The PA responded to the decision, holding Hamas responsible for the statement released by Gaza’s power authority, adding that it was “part of Hamas’ attempt at creating a new crisis in the Gaza Strip.”
PA spokesperson Youssef al-Mahmoud said that the PA was committed to covering the costs of Gaza’s electricity originating from Israel and Egypt. The PA has paid 40 million shekels ($10,931,732) a month for Israeli electricity and seven million shekels ($1,913,053) for Egyptian, he said.
Al-Mahmoud added that if the power authority carries out the electricity cuts, then “it must be ordered by Hamas, who controls the electricity company and power authority.”
Al-Mahmoud noted that over the last three months the power authority was supplied with Qatari-funded fuel -- the last shipment of which arrived in Gaza on Friday and is expected to completely run out by Sunday. “Hamas’ electricity company,” he said, has collected 100 million shekels ($27,329,329) worth of electricity fees from residents of Gaza while not paying anything to receive the electricity.
After the Gaza power authority warned that Gaza’s sole power plant would stop operating on Sunday when the Qatari-funded fuel is expected to run out, they said that the primary reason for the potential shutdown was the PA decision to continue imposing taxes on fuel. If taxes were abolished, the authority would be capable of buying fuel from the PA to guarantee that the electricity plant keep operating.
The PA could waive taxes, or Hamas could pay them. Either way, either party would lose some money but their people would have fuel and electricity, which is the important thing, right?
I'll wait while you stop laughing.
There is an underlying theme that escapes most media analysis about the Palestinian leaders, which is that both Hamas and the PA are prioritizing their own survival over the well being of the Palestinians they supposedly care for.
Israel tries to help Jews in the Diaspora, but Palestinian leaders tell their own people in other Arab lands to go to hell.
Right now Palestinians in the Ain al-Hilweh camp in Lebanon are suffering greatly from infighting, their houses being destroyed and the camp looking like war-torn areas of Iraq, and Palestinian leaders are doing next to nothing.
This is all because of the number one principle that is obscured behind tens of thousands of pages of false analysis, hundreds of UN resolutions and tens of millions of NGO dollars: Palestinians don't want to build a country, they want to destroy one.
This is manifested by theses leaders consistently and cynically using Palestinian Arabs as cannon fodder or as cheap PR gimmicks rather than actually doing anything positive for them.
The Arab world is catching on to this deception but the Western world has been blind to the obvious facts for way too many years.
The real question is, why should the world care more about Palestinians than their own leaders do?