Palestinian Authority head Mahmoud Abbas has asked that Israel decrease the electricity it supplies to Gaza, the area ruled by Abbas' rival group, Hamas. Israel has agreed, reports The Times of Israel's Dov Lieber, prompting Hamas to warn of "disastrous and dangerous" consequences:
“The decision of the occupation to reduce the electricity to Gaza at the request of PA President Mahmoud Abbas is catastrophic and dangerous. It will accelerate the deterioration and explode the situation in the Strip,” said Hamas spokesperson Abdel Latif al-Qanua.
“Those who will bear the consequences of this decision are the Israeli enemy, who is besieging the Gaza Strip, and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas,” he added.
Gazans currently receive only three or four hours of electricity a day, delivered from the territory’s own power station and others in Israel and Egypt.
The power cuts, as well as number of other steps taken by the PA since last month, are aimed at forcing Hamas to cede control of the Strip, or begin footing the bill itself.
During the cabinet meeting top military officials, including IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot, warned that the power cut could lead to an escalation in violence while welcoming the pressure on Hamas, according to a Haaretz report citing a member of the security cabinet.
Both Israel and the PA charge that Hamas would have the money to supply Gaza’s power needs if the group didn’t expend a large part of its resources on armament and preparation for future conflict with the Jewish state...