Hamas: PA, Israel colluded over Gaza energy crisis

Accusations come as Israel allows fuel to enter Gaza Strip for first time in over a year, after Hamas softened stance on imports.

By JPOST.COM STAFF, REUTERS
March 23, 2012 20:18
1 minute read.
Gazans arrange gas cylinders at gas station

Gazans arrange gas cylinders at gas filling station R. (photo credit: REUTERS)

Hamas accused the Palestinian Authority Friday for colluding with the Mossad to exacerbate the Gaza energy crisis, just as a deal was reached between Israel, Egypt and the PA to deliver emergency fuel supplies to the Gaza Strip.

Hamas spokesperson Musheer Al-Masry claimed that the Gaza-ruling group had obtained Egyptian records that documented meetings between  Palestinian officials from Ramallah, Mossad agents, US intelligence officials, and Arab security agencies, according to Hamas affiliate Al-Resalah.

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Masry said the documents help show that Israel bears the chief responsibility for the energy crisis, and that the Palestinian Authority was "directly involved" in making the situation worse.

Masry's comments came as Israel allowed nine fuel tankers to cross into the Gaza Strip on Friday to ease a severe power shortage triggered by a dispute over supplies between Egypt and Hamas.

Initially Hamas did not want to accept the diesel if it was delivered through Israel, but later relented.

The delivery of around 450,000 liters of industrial diesel was the first to Gaza's only power station coming via Israel in almost a year.

The fuel is enough to power the plant, which serves two thirds of Gaza's population, for one day, an official from Gaza's energy authority said.

A Palestinian official said contacts were under way to arrange an additional delivery on Friday.

The fuel crisis has crippled Gaza in recent weeks. Petrol pumps have run dry and its 1.7 million residents suffer major electricity black outs.


Many locals have accused Hamas of mismanaging the situation, relying too heavily on smuggled fuel, which it taxes heavily, rather than seeking alternative sources of energy via legal channels on which it could not impose levies.

The Egyptian envoy to the Palestinian territories, Yasser Othman, said Wednesday a project was underway to link Gaza's power grid with Egypt in a development that would provide "real relief" for the energy crisis.


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