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Liberman accuses Abbas of trying to 'drag Israel into a war with Hamas'

Israeli defense minister says PA asked Israel to cut the power in Gaza in order to escalate tension

Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman accused Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas of trying to drag Israel into a war with Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

"Abbas did not coordinate his strategy on the Gaza electricity dispute with Israel, Egypt or Jordan," Liberman said at the IDC Herziliya conference on Thursday. "This was not a one-time tactical decision by Abbas. It was a strategic one. He intends to continue cutbacks on fuel and medicine as well."

"Abbas wants to drag Israel into a conflict with Hamas," Liberman added.

Gaza's electricity company said on Monday that Israel had begun to reduce the supply of power to the Hamas-ruled coastal enclave.

Oren Rosenfeld

Spokesman for the company, Muhammad Thabet, said that as a result, power could only be supplied for two or three hours per day. Instead of supplying 120 megawatts, Israel is reportedly now sending only 112 megawatts per day.

The move comes after Israel's security cabinet said it would reduce its supply of electricity to Gaza, in response to a request made by the Palestinian Authority.

Israeli officials told the Haaretz newspaper that the Israeli government has aligned with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’ decision to decrease the amount of money he will be supplying to Israel in order to supply electricity to Gaza.

In April, the Palestinian Authority informed Israel that it will immediately cease paying for electricity supplies to the Gaza Strip. Israel supplies the coastal enclave with about 30% of its electricity at a cost of around 40 million shekels per month (around US$10 million), which it deducts from the taxes of the Palestinian Authority.

THOMAS COEX (AFP)

In the absence of funding from the Palestinian Authority, money will need to come from the international community or private donors.

Gaza's sole electricity plant frequently runs out of fuel for its generators and rations power supplies. Human rights organizations have warned that constant fuel shortages and insufficient infrastructure have brought about a humanitarian crisis for Palestinians in the Hamas-ruled territory.

Globes website reported on Thursday that the Israeli army had warned that a reduction in the electricity supply during Ramadan was "liable to aggravate the security situation in the Gaza Strip."

Comments

(1)

Why does the west pretend abbas & his fatah are any less the terrorists than hamas is? They're the same thing with different public bs. Israel needs to be out of the business of supplying anything to gaza or the pla. Oslo has been long revoked by the pali filth.

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