Gazans protest against Hamas amid electricity shortages

Dozens of residents of Gaza protest over ongoing electricity shortages which have been going on for several years.

Elad Benari,

Fuel tanker arrives at Gaza's power plant (archive)
Fuel tanker arrives at Gaza's power plant (archive)
Reuters

Dozens of residents of Gaza protested on Monday over ongoing electricity shortages, the latest in a series of demonstrations against the enclave’s Hamas terrorist rulers, AFP reports.

Power shortages have occurred repeatedly in Gaza in recent weeks, with homes in Gaza City typically getting around four hours a day -- rather than at least eight normally.

Residents in other cities and refugee camps are getting less than that in the enclave.

A series of protests against the Hamas-run electricity company have been met by police forces, with a number of arrests, according to an NGO.

Khaled al-Batsh, a leader in the Islamic Jihad movement, speaking to a few dozen protesters Monday, called for all parties to make "great efforts" to overcome the "worsening electricity crisis."

He warned of a "tragedy" without a change in course.

The frequent power outages in Gaza have been ongoing for several years, and are mostly due to ongoing disputes between Hamas and its longtime rival, the Fatah movement headed by Palestinian Authority (PA) chairman Mahmoud Abbas.

Egypt has also played a role in the outages, having in the past disconnected some of the power lines to Gaza.

The United Nations says the shortages are the result of a range of factors including weak infrastructure, lack of bill payments, closure of illegal tunnels on the Egyptian border through which fuel was smuggled and the bombing of the Gaza power plant by Israel, noted AFP.

However the shortages been exacerbated recently by a dispute between Hamas and Fatah over the payment of taxes on fuel imported to Gaza.

Both sides have blamed the other for the shortage.

Hamas and Fatah have been feuding since 2007, when Hamas overtook Gaza from Hamas in a bloody coup. Attempts to reach a reconciliation agreement have continuously failed.




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