Israel approves request from Palestinian Authority to reduce electricity to Gaza Strip; Hamas threatens Israel

Israel cuts 30% of electricity after request from Abbas to cut electricity in entirety; Request made given internal dispute between Hamas and PA; Netanyahu: Israel has no interest in an escalation with Hamas and any other speculation is wrong.

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Israel’s Security Cabinet approved the request of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to reduce the amount of electricity Israel provides to the Gaza Strip.

Abbas requested that Israel entirely cut off its electricity supply to the Gaza Strip, Israel refusing to avoid a humanitarian crisis, Israel’s Security Cabinet approving a 40% cut of electricity exports. The request was made given an “internal dispute” between the Palestinian Authority and Hamas regarding taxation.

Israel provides 30% of the Gaza Strip’s electricity for which the Palestinian Authority pays.

Abbas’s request came just after a report given by IDF generals on the “worsening economy and humanitarian situation” in the Gaza Strip .The report, issued by IDF Chief of Staff Staff Gadi Eizenkot,  Yoav Mordechai, Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories and the head of IDF Intelligence, Herzi Halevi, warned that cutting off Hamas’s electricity may lead to escalation, however no lenience should be shown to the terrorist organization.

Hamas has accused Israel of being responsible for the electricity cuts, threatening retaliation against the State of Israel, despite the issue being with the Palestinian Authority. A Hamas spokesman stated that “The ones responsible for this decision are the Israeli enemy who is imposing a siege on the Gaza Strip and Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas who is cooperating with the occupation,” and that “the Israeli occupation’s decision to reduce electricity to the Gaza Strip at the behest of PA President Mahmoud Abbas is catastrophic and dangerous. It will hasten the deterioration of the situation and its explosion in the strip.”

Prime Minister Netanyahu addressed Hamas’s backlash and inaccurate reporting of the situation, stating “The issue of electricity in Gaza is a dispute between the Palestinian Authority and Hamas. Hamas is demanding that the PA pay for the electricity, and the Palestinian Authority is refusing to pay. It is an internal Palestinian dispute. In any case, I want to make it clear that Israel has no interest in an escalation with Hamas and any other speculation is wrong. But we have an interest in security, and our policy is clear on the subject of security and it won’t change.”

On Tuesday, Egypt offered to provide Gaza with electricity in exchange for 17 wanted terrorists.