Hamas: PA using Gaza fuel crisis to incite

PA denies charges that West Bank leadership had asked the Egyptians to cut off fuel supplies to the Gaza Strip.

 

The Palestinian Authority is exploiting the severe fuel crisis in the Gaza Strip to incite Palestinians against Hamas, the Islamist movement charged Saturday.

The allegation is a sign of renewed tensions between the two Palestinian parties in light of their failure to implement the recent Qatari-brokered reconciliation agreement that was signed between PA President Mahmoud Abbas and Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal.

The fuel crisis has forced the only power plant in the Gaza Strip to cut off electricity for several hours every day.

“The Palestinian Authority wants to use the fuel crisis for extortion and bickering, exploiting the suffering of the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip,” said Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri.

He said that although Hamas agreed last Friday to allow Israeli fuel into the Gaza Strip, it continues to insist on receiving supplies from Egypt.

Abu Zuhri claimed that the costs of Israeli fuel were too high [$2 dollars per liter] for the residents of the Gaza Strip compared with Egyptian fuel.

He added that the PA government in the West Bank did not want to assume its responsibilities and cover the costs of the fuel from Egypt although it was receiving financial aid from the EU.

He also applied to the Egyptian government to rescind to stop supplying fuel to the Gaza Strip.

Mustafa Sawwaf, a Palestinian political analyst affiliated with Hamas, claimed over the weekend that Abbas and the PA leadership were behind Egypt’s decision to stop fuel supplies to the Gaza Strip.

He said that the goal was to trigger a revolt against Hamas in the Gaza Strip because of the fuel and electricity crisis.

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By KHALED ABU TOAMEH

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