Abbas Cuts Electricity Funding for Gaza Strip

Aims to Pressure Hamas to Cede Control to Him

Ongoing tensions between Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and the Hamas government in the Gaza Strip are picking up pace considerably today, with Abbas having announced he will fully defund all electricity to everybody in Gaza.

The move is seen as an attempt by Abbas to pressure Hamas to fully cede control over the strip to him. The Palestinian Authority lost control of the Gaza Strip in the 2006 election, which Abbas lost and then chose to ignore, leading to an outright split with Hamas.

With the international community mostly letting Abbas do whatever he wants to try to exert control over Gaza, Israel will likely cut off all electricity exports to the strip outright in very short order, leaving the strip almost entirely in darkness for the foreseeable future.

Gaza is almost entirely dependent on electricity imports, as their lone power plant is unable to keep up with demand even in the best of times, and Israel’s blockade preventing a steady supply of fuel and necessary repairs to keep it running at anywhere near peak production.

Hamas warned against the move, saying that Abbas would not be able to win Gazans’ loyalty by force, and that the strip is potentially explosive, with such moves by the PA risking leading to an explosion in all directions.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.