Ismail Haniyeh
Ismail Haniyeh Wissam Nassar/Flash 90

Turkey has agreed to send fuel to Gaza to help deal with the electricity shortage in the enclave, senior Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh announced on Saturday.

Haniyeh was quoted by Channel 2 News as having said that Turkey responded to his request to send large amounts of diesel fuel to Gaza in order to operate the region’s sole power plant.

Turkey and Gaza’s Hamas rulers have enjoyed close cooperation, so much so that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan conditioned a reconciliation agreement with Israel on the Jewish state lifting its naval blockade on Gaza, which is meant to prevent weapons from being transferred into the hands of Gaza terrorists.

Four years ago it was estimated that Erdogan’s government has overseen the transfer of up to $250 million a year to Hamas, and particularly to its governing apparatus in Gaza.

Meanwhile, thousands of Gazans have demonstrated in recent days against the constant power outages in the region.

Hamas has responded by forcefully dispersing the demonstrators by using, among other things, live ammunition, according to Channel 2.

Members of Hamas’s armed wing have participated actively in dispersing the demonstrations. More than 280 people were arrested over the weekend, the report said.

Hamas accuses the Palestinian Authority government in Ramallah of being responsible for the power outages due to the fact that it failed to provide diesel for the sole power plant in Gaza.

However, Major General Yoav Mordechai, the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT), on Thursday said that Hamas is responsible for the electricity crisis in Gaza.

“Hamas’s leaders enjoy electricity 24/7. In contrast, the people of Gaza get only three hours of electricity a day. Also, Hamas uses the funds collected through the electricity bills for personal interests and any military equipment,” he told the Ma’an news agency.