The Palestinian Authority is refusing to free up international pledges for reconstruction for the Gaza Strip, destroyed during a summer invasion by Israel, unless Hamas agrees to give them full administrative and security control of the strip.
Hamas has refused demands to expel all of their appointees from top positions to allow the return of Fatah appointees ousted during Fatah’s 2007 takeover. The PA had promised “microfinancing” for the ousted appointees to find jobs in the private sector.
Hamas leaders went on to accuse the Abbas government of having forsaken Gaza, and said they were threatening the existing unity government deal with their holding up of reconstruction.
The ceasefire agreement the ended the most recent Gaza invasion put reconstruction funds in the hands of the Palestinian Authority, but it seems they are trying to use that as a way to increase their power in the strip.
In the meantime, winter has arrived in Gaza, and is proving to be a harsh one. With many residents still homeless or in semi-destroyed housing it’s going to be doubly difficult for them.