Fuel tanker arrives at Gaza's power plant
Fuel tanker arrives at Gaza's power plant Reuters

Hamas on Monday blasted the Israeli security cabinet’s decision to reduce the supply of electricity to Gaza at the request of Palestinian Authority (PA) chairman Mahmoud Abbas.

A spokesman for Hamas called the decision "grave" and "disastrous" because, he claimed, it harms all aspects of life in Gaza and could cause a deterioration and an “explosion” in the region.

"The ones responsible for this decision are the Israeli enemy who is imposing a siege on the Gaza Strip and Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas who is cooperating with the occupation,” charged the Hamas spokesman.

Meanwhile, Yusuf al-Mahmoud, the official spokesman of the PA government in Ramallah, blamed Hamas, which is the de facto ruler of Gaza, for being responsible for the electricity crisis in the territories under its control.

In an official statement, Mahmoud said that Hamas's governing authority, which took control of Gaza in a bloody coup in the summer of 2007, has been collecting money from Gazans for electricity for over a decade, but these funds have never been transferred to the PA treasury in Ramallah.

Mahmoud said that Hamas was counting on the PA to continue to pay the costs of electricity to Gaza, and therefore refused to reach a reconciliation agreement that would end the rift between the sides.

A power plant which supplies 30 percent of Gaza's electricity stopped functioning on April 16 after a dispute broke out between the PA and Hamas over taxation on fuel.

Gaza receives its power from the Israeli energy company Dor, but has not paid the company for several months. After a previous energy crisis a few months ago, Gaza received a supply of fuel from Turkey andQatar, but both supplies have since been spent.

The Ramallah-based PA has admitted it has no control over the goings on in Gaza. Meanwhile, the majority of Arabs in Gaza are receiving about four hours of electricity per day, while the leaders of Hamas enjoy electricity 24 hours a day, seven days a week.