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Dagelijks archief 9 juli 2017

New power plant operates in Jenin starting Monday, says governor

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Power/Process Plants and Tele-communication Projects

Governor of Jenin, Ibrahim Ramadan Sunday announced that the newly established power plant in the village of al-Jalameh will be operated for the first time on Monday.

The inauguration of the power plant, which is going to be attended by Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah, will take place after the signing of the interim agreement to buy power for the plant from the Israeli representative of the regional electric company.

Ramadan said this plant is the first high-pressure plant ever used in Jenin. “It is part of the project to build four plants in the center, north and south of the occupied West Bank, which were built in the cities of Jenin, Hebron, Ramallah and Nablus.”

“It is also part of a comprehensive project to boost the energy sector in Palestine and ensure that it meets consumers’ growing needs.”

With the operation of this plant, the Palestinian National Electricity Company will be able to import electricity of high pressure from its producers and sell it in accordance with the average pressure of the distributors.

Ramadan hoped that operating this plant will put an end of years of power blackouts and a beginning to economic activity and development in all sectors.

For years, several cities in the West Bank have been affected by power blackouts due to the excessive power load in the summer months.

Power blackouts are more critical in the northern cities than any other part in the West Bank. Citizens of the city of Tulkarm receive a daily schedule from the city’s municipality, which includes details of times, and city areas where blackouts are expected.

The long and frequent blackout periods are causing rage and anger among people amidst the lack of finding an endurable solution to the power crises.

(Source / 09.07.2017)

Abbas arrives in Cairo ahead of meeting with Sisi

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah, West Bank on 22 June 2017 [İper Topal/Anadolu Agency]

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah, West Bank on 22 June 2017

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas arrived in Cairo on Saturday on an official visit to Egypt, and will meet with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi on Sunday.

Palestinian Authority-owned Wafa news agency reported that Abbas was received at Cairo International Airport by Egyptian Electricity Minister Muhammad Shakir al-Marqabi and other Egyptian officials, along with PA ambassador to Egypt and to the Arab League Jamal Shubaki.

Accompanying Abbas on his visit was his official spokesman Nabil Abu Rdeina, head of the Fatah bloc at the Palestinian parliament Azzam al-Ahmad, Abbas’ diplomatic advisor Majdi al-Khalidi, and chief of the PA general intelligence Majid Faraj.

According to Wafa, Abbas met with Egyptian Foreign Minister Samih Shukri at the presidential palace Cairo, when the Palestinian president updated Shukri “on the latest developments of the Palestinian cause,” as well as “ongoing efforts to recruit international support” for ending the Israeli practices in the occupied Palestinian territory, particularly escalating settlement expansion.

Abbas also affirmed that the PA would continue to support Egypt in its “war on terrorism” and against “whoever attempts to harm Egypt’s national security,” Wafa reported.

Pushing Gaza to suicide: The politics of humiliation

Abbas later met with secretary-general of the Arab League Ahmad Abu al-Gheit and other Arab League officials. Wafa said the president updated Abu al-Gheit on PA efforts to end the Israeli occupation, highlighting the recent UNESCO decision to inscribe Hebron’s Old City and Hebron’s Ibrahimi Mosque on the World Heritage in Danger list, after the issue was submitted by the Palestinians.

Coinciding with Abbas’ arrival to Cairo on Saturday, Gaza’s power authority accused the PA of freezing all money transfers from Palestinian banks to Egypt, which resulted in Egyptian authorities halting the fuel deliveries for want of payment, thus reducing total power supply in Gaza by between 33 and 50 percent.

The PA has also been the center of widespread condemnation in recent weeks for a list of other detrimental policies in Gaza aimed at putting pressure on Hamas to relinquish control of the besieged coastal enclave and hand over the territory to the PA.

(Source / 09.07.2017)

Identity of Sinai Attackers Stirs Controversy

A picture taken from the Rafah border of the southern Gaza Strip with Egypt shows smoke billowing in Egypt's North Sinai on July 8, 2017.

A picture taken from the Rafah border of the southern Gaza Strip with Egypt shows smoke billowing in Egypt’s North Sinai on July 8, 2017

Ramallah, Gaza – Unconfirmed news about the participation of former Hamas members in the ISIS’ attack in the Sinai Peninsula that killed at least 23 Egyptian soldiers stirred up debates in Palestine and Egypt.

Social media accounts of ISIS supporters reported that three persons from Rafah, south of Gaza strip, were former members of al-Qassam brigades and participated in the attack. The members were recognized after Egyptian army posted their pictures and later announced that their families had identified them.

Both Egyptian and Palestinian media outlets reported the news without any official sources commenting on the matter. Yet, sources said later on that what has been posted was not accurate. The sources also said that the families mentioned didn’t announce anything.

If the reports that Palestinians participated in the attack were true, Hamas will be in hot waters especially after it had pledged to monitor the borders. In addition, Egyptian army’s reports that extremist members from Gaza were part of attacks against Egypt will be confirmed.

Sources close to the matter in Gaza stated that despite intensified measures taken by Hamas, some extremist members are able to leave Gaza and join ISIS in Sinai.

Hamas increased its monitoring of the border and deployed more troops. It also began establishing a buffer zone with Egypt.

Head of Hamas’ political bureau Ismail Haniyyeh said that the movement increased its measures on the border to ensure the borders are not infiltrated. During his visit to Egyptian community in Gaza, Haniyyeh expressed his condolences and ensured that further measures will be taken to control the border.

Hamas denounced the attack earlier in the day in Egypt’s Sinai as a “terrorist” assault.

Hamas’ spokesman Fawzi Barhoum said the group considers the attack in Sinai “a criminal, a terrorist, and a coward attack that doesn’t target Egypt only, but the security and stability of the entire Arab nation.”

Observers believe that Hamas’ relationship with Egypt had improved recently, as the movement vowed to prevent any aggression against Egypt launched from Gaza. Yet, the Sinai attack will increase pressure on Hamas that is aware that such operation will damage its image and measures taken concerning the siege on Gaza Strip.

The movement offered its condolences to the Egyptian leadership and people.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas condemned in his name on behalf of the State of Palestine and its people the terrorist attack targeting a security center on Friday in North Sinai.

Abbas confirmed Palestine’s standing alongside Egypt and its leadership, headed by President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi, in their war against terrorism.

“The Palestinian president, while condemning these vicious attacks carried out by hired terrorists against the Egyptian army and security forces in Sinai, affirms that he is confident that these crimes will not undermine Egypt’s determination in its war against terrorism and fight by all available means,” said the presidency statement.

(Source / 09.07.2017)

The myth of a ‘Palestinian economy’

Israel has used the last 50 years of occupation to shape the Palestinian economy to suit its own interests.

Israel ensures its products have free access to the Palestinian market, while Palestinian goods have little access to Israeli markets

Though it is rumoured that US President Donald Trump may withdraw from Israeli-Palestinian peace talks after White House Senior Adviser Jared Kushner’s fruitless meetings in Jerusalem and Ramallah, certain policies touted by Trump are likely to continue regardless. For instance, Trump recently declared that he welcomed measures to “unlock the Palestinian economy“.

These measures, approved by Israel, include facilitating the travel of Palestinians between Jordan and the West Bank; zoning Israeli-occupied land in the West Bank for Palestinian residential, agricultural, and industrial use; developing two industrial zones; and expanding hours of operation at checkpoints between the West Bank and Israel to ease movement for Palestinians.

In the meantime, Israel continues to place the Gaza Strip in an economic stranglehold. It is currently suffering from a debilitating electricity crisis.

Such economic measures, at least in regard to the West Bank, are based on the assumption that a lack of Palestinian prosperity is the main cause of the conflict.The claim goes that economic success and joint economic projects between Israelis and Palestinians will improve the lives of Palestinians and pave the way for peace.

Since the 1970s, Israeli officials, as well as US and other world leaders that have led negotiations, have favoured such an “economic peace” approach.

Benjamin Netanyahu, then in opposition as leader of the Likud party, strongly advocated for it in 2008, and since then, the international community has increasingly promoted the notion that there is an economic antidote to the impasse.

But viewing economic development as the horse and a just peace as the cart only exacerbates the political deadlock, since the symptom – economic deprivation – is mistaken for the cause: Israel’s occupation and military rule.

Moreover, this approach disconnects the economy from its historical context and obscures the fact that the “Palestinian economy” is a political construct embedded in Israel’s occupation policies, which aim to expropriate Palestinian land and expand a Jewish state – while dominating the “Palestinian economy” in the process.

INTERACTIVE: Gaza – A life under occupation

June 5 marked 50 years of Israeli occupation. The past five decades provide ample evidence of Israel’s use of the economy as a tool of domination over the occupied territory, in line with Israel’s political and strategic interests.

Following the occupation of the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip in 1967, Israel sought to incorporate the occupied territories’ economy into its own, while allowing for maximum expropriation of land.

Israel controlled trade to serve its interests by, for instance, ensuring that its products had free access to the Palestinian market, while Palestinian goods had little access to the Israeli market.

The Palestinian market became a captive one for Israeli products. By 1984, Israeli products made up 89.3 percent of West Bank imports.

Israel also integrated the occupied territories’ economy into its own through labour. Between 1967 and 1990, 35-40 percent of Palestinian labourers worked in Israel.

While they contributed to the doubling of Palestinian per capita income between 1970 and 1987, this increase was accompanied by a decline in the occupied territories economy’s productivity.

By 1984, Israeli products made up nearly 90 percent of West Bank imports

While the income rose, industrial production stalled, agriculture declined, and Israel-imposed restrictions on the development of Palestinian enterprises that might compete with its own increased.

The result? Any “growth” in the occupied territories economy was skewed, as it was linked to Israeli rather than Palestinian supply and demand, and the economy only functioned by way of access to the Israeli labour market and other external sources of income.

Israeli-imposed restrictions on Palestinians’ access to natural resources exacerbated this problem, especially with Israel’s expansion of illegal settlements built on occupied Palestinian land, which violates long-standing official US policy and international law.

By 1993, the occupied territories’ economy was structurally weak, imbalanced, and heavily dependent on Israel.

The Oslo negotiations solidified Israel’s political interests and territorial ambitions and further shaped economic arrangements.

The 1994 Paris Economic Protocol systematised financial and economic relations between the Palestinian Authority and Israel. It deepened Palestinian dependency on Israeli trade as well as monetary and fiscal policies, and gave Israel control over the movement of Palestinian labour and revenue.

At the same time, it conditioned Palestinian economic development on Israel’s security and territorial requirements.

READ MORE: Palestinians in Gaza reflect on 10 years of siege

For example, the Protocol stipulated a customs union relationship between the Palestinians and the Israelis, rather than the free trade area requested by the Palestinians.This arrangement allows Israel to postpone the issue of borders, and thus sidestep the question of whether to integrate or separate from the occupied territories.

In fact, a customs union entails neither the demarcation of internal borders – and thus the establishment of a sovereign Palestinian economic and political entity – nor the total elimination of borders, enabling Israel to continue the status quo, and effectively pursue a “no-state solution“.

Palestinian acceptance of this arrangement was a precondition for the continuation of Palestinian labour flows into Israel.

The customs union has also perpetuated the unrestricted flow of Israeli goods into the Palestinian market, while severe restrictions are imposed on the movement of Palestinian goods between the occupied territories and Israel and within the occupied territories.

The Palestinian market consequently remains captive to Israeli goods. According to the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, Israeli products accounted for more than 70 percent of Palestinian imports and absorbed more than 85 percent of Palestinian exports in 2015.

Israel’s post-Oslo attempts to redefine its territorial and economic borders with the West Bank and Gaza Strip have also affected labour arrangements.

In the occupied West Bank, Palestinians still have access to the Israeli labour market, which reflects Israel’s strategy of incorporating parts of the West Bank into Israel while avoiding a demarcation of borders.

In contrast, Israel has restricted labour flows from the Gaza Strip, which it has placed under blockade for the past decade, suggesting a move towards separation between the Israeli and Gaza economies.

Such a history demonstrates the misguided nature of the claim that “economic development” can lead to peace.

The “Palestinian economy” is a political construct, shaped to serve the more powerful player: Israel.

Any economic shifts that do not challenge the biased power structure underpinning this system serve as window dressing, obfuscating the deep-seated power differential in which Palestinians and their economy are at the mercy of Israeli interests.

(Source / 09.07.2017)

Israeli Soldiers Abduct Two Palestinian Teenagers In Hebron

09 JUL
8:55 AM

Israeli soldiers invaded, on Sunday at dawn, Beit Ummar town, north of Hebron in the southern part of the occupied West bank, and abducted two Palestinian teenagers, including a former political prisoner.

Mohammad Awad, a media activist in Hebron, said many army jeeps invaded the town at dawn, before the soldiers stormed several homes, and violently searched them.

Awad added that the soldiers interrogated many Palestinians in their homes, and abducted Fares Ibrahim ad-Douda, 18, and former political prisoner, Tareq Nasser Abu Ayyash, 17.

The soldiers also installed roadblocks near Beit Ummar, and several areas in the Hebron governorate, before stopping and searching cars, and interrogated many Palestinians while inspecting their ID cards.

(Source / 09.07.2017)

Army Abducts 37 Palestinian Workers

09 JUL
11:26 AM

Israeli soldiers and police officers abducted, Sunday, 37 Palestinian workers, reportedly for trying to enter Jerusalem without permits.

The soldiers abducted the workers, after chasing some of them, and moved them to several detention and interrogation centers.

The Israeli army said that the arrest of the Palestinian workers is part of “a campaign aimed at preventing them from entering the country without permits.”

The soldiers also abducted three Palestinians for “helping the workers in entering Israel without permits.”

In addition, the soldiers also confiscated 53 permits, carried by Palestinian workers who already obtained authorization from the Israeli side. The incidents took place near Etzion colony junction, and a military roadblock, west of Bethlehem.

On Sunday, A Palestinian worker from Bethlehem governorate, suffered fractures in both his legs, in addition to various cuts and bruises, after falling from a high altitude when Israeli soldiers chased him while he was trying to enter occupied East Jerusalem, where he works.

Media activist Ahmad Salah told the Palestinian News & Info Agency (WAFA) that the soldiers chased Hazem Abu Sheikh, 41, in Wad al-Hummus area, near the al-Khas and an-No’man villages, east of the West Bank city of Bethlehem.

On Sunday morning, a pregnant Palestinian woman was injured, Sunday, after an Israeli colonist’s car struck her with his car, near al-‘Arroub College, in the al-‘Arroub refugee camp, north of Hebron, in the southern part of the occupied West Bank.

On Sunday at dawn, the soldiers invaded Beit Ummar town, north of Hebron in the southern part of the occupied West bank, and abducted two Palestinian teenagers, including a former political prisoner.

Also at dawn, the soldiers invaded Tulkarem refugee camp, and Saida town, in the northern West Bank governorate of Tulkarem, searched homes and abducted three Palestinians.

(Source / 09.07.2017)

Palestinian worker injured after jumping off separation wall to dodge Israeli bullets

Palestinian injured zio's opened fire

BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — A Palestinian construction worker from the southern occupied West Bank town of al-Khader fractured his feet on Saturday after Israeli forces opened fire at him while he was attempting to pass over Israel’s separation wall and jumped off of it to escape the bullets.

A local activist Ahmad Salah told Ma’an that 41-year-old Hazim Abu al-Sheikh Mousa was trying to traverse the wall in the Wadi al-Hummus area in southern Jerusalem near Sur Bahir, in order to get to work inside Israel along with a group of other workers, who did not have permits needed to pass through the Israeli-controlled border crossings separating the occupied West Bank from occupied East Jerusalem and Israel.
After he climbed the wall, Israel troops who were on the other side started to fire gunshots, prompting him to jump back. The other workers evacuated Mousa to Beit Jala public hospital where he received treatment for fractures in both of his feet.

Palestinian injured zio's opened fire1

An Israeli army spokesperson told Ma’an they were looking into reports of the incident.
Under Israel’s permit regime, Palestinian residents of the West Bank are not allowed to access occupied East Jerusalem or Israel without an Israeli-issued permit, and many risk being shot and injured while trying to cross into Israel to work.
Salah noted to Ma’an that workers who do not have permits sometimes prefer to cross the border on Saturday because they believe Israeli restrictions are lighter on Saturday, the Jewish day of rest and Israel’s national weekend when many public services are closed.
Tens of thousands of Palestinian workers are forced to seek a living by working in Israel due to crippling unemployment in the West Bank, as the growth of an independent Palestinian economy has been stifled under the ongoing Israeli military occupation, according to rights groups.
(Source / 09.07.2017)

Children with cystic fibrosis in Gaza in ‘mortal danger’ for want of medicine

Young girl beside bed hospital

A young girl raises a sign beside a hospital bed in Abd al-Aziz al-Rantisi hospital, where a child is being treated for cystic fibrosis: “Save cystic fibrosis patients”

GAZA (Ma’an) — Tens of Palestinian children being treated at a Gaza City hospital for cystic fibrosis are facing possible imminent death, relatives and medical sources told Ma’an, amid what rights groups described as the worst medication crisis the besieged Gaza Strip has seen in years, stemming from debilitating budget cuts by the Palestinian Authority (PA).

The PA has been the center of widespread condemnation in recent weeks for its policies in Gazaaimed at putting pressure on Hamas to relinquish control of the besieged coastal enclave and hand over the territory to the PA.
The main victims of the current medication crisis are cancer patients, infants with developmental deficits, and hundreds of cystic fibrosis patients, according to a report last month from Physicians for Human Rights Israel (PHRI).
Information gathered by PHRI showed that the PA’s regular monthly budget for Gaza medical supplies had been $4 million, but dropped to $2.3 million in April, and to a mere $500,000 in May. As a result, one-third of essential medicines and more than 270 medical equipment items for operating rooms and intensive care units have vanished from the health ministry’s storerooms or in Gaza’s hospitals.
Chairman of the Association of Cystic Fibrosis Patients in Gaza Ashraf al-Shanti has said that over 320 cystic fibrosis patients are in mortal danger. He said the patients require 40,000 Cryon pills, but storerooms were already completely empty as of mid-June.
The parents of young cystic fibrosis patients being treated at Abd al-Aziz al-Rantisi hospital west of Gaza city told Ma’an that the life-saving medication has become a “distant dream,” and also reported that alternative medicine being provided by the Palestinian Health Ministry is actually worsening the conditions of their children.
Muhammad al-Yaqoubi, the father of six-year-old cystic fibrosis patient said that his son’s illness has drastically deteriorated since the medicine disappeared from storerooms and hospitals in the small Palestinian territory, which is meanwhile struggling to cope with just a few hours of power per day as a result of an agreement between Israel and the PA to slash electricity supplies.
“I used to take my son to al-Shifa Hospital to get the medicine, but it has been unavailable for the last six months. The ministry of health provided an alternative for the medicine, but it only made my son’s condition grow worse,” al-Yacoubi said.
The man said that his son is facing the possibility of death “at any moment.” Al-Yacoubi’s first son, who also had cystic fibrosis, died for want of treatment when the family could neither find medication in Gaza nor obtain Israel permission to leave the blockaded coastal enclave for treatment at Israeli hospitals.
The father demanded that the competent authorities solve the medicine crises and “not to involve medical patients in political conflicts.”

Young girl beside bed hospital1

Umm Moyad Moussa, the mother of a child who suffers from cystic fibrosis, said that the alternative medicine provided by the ministry of health is half as effective as the original medicine, particularly for young children.
She said most children are unable to swallow the new, bigger pills, which, when ground or broken up lose their effectiveness, and also risk irritating the respiratory and digestive system.
The head of cystic fibrosis center Ashraf al-Shanti reiterated to Ma’an that the 321 cystic fibrosis patients in Gaza could die at any moment for need of medication and insisted that the alternative is “not a proper treatment.”
Al-Shanti demanded all international organizations operating in the Gaza Strip intervene to help provide adequate medication ”before it’s too late.” He said a similar medication crisis in 2007, when Israel first imposed its crippling blockade in Gaza following Hamas’ rise to power in the territory, resulted in the death of seven children who were unable to acquire cystic fibrosis medicine.
Healthcare inside Gaza has greatly suffered as part of the decade-long Israeli siege, with Israel limiting medical equipment allowed in and restricts travel for doctors seeking further medical training and specialization.
Before Israel implemented the electricity cuts at the request of the PA last month, Gaza’s medical sector had already been struggling to provide diesel fuel to operate the 87 generators that supply electricity to hospitals during blackout hours.
The Hamas-run health ministry in Gaza also warned that diagnostic radiology equipment worth an estimated $10 million would soon fall into disrepair due to their sensitivity to blackouts.
In addition to the PA’s budget cuts to medication and fuel, reports also emerged that the PA has been preventing Palestinians in Gaza from leaving the territory for medical treatment.To leave Gaza via the Israeli-controlled Erez crossing to receive treatment in the occupied West Bank, Gazans must first apply to the PA before applying to Israel.
Spokesperson for Gaza’s health ministry spokesman said that at least 11 people, most of them children, have died since the beginning of the year as a result of refusal of travel permits to them by either Israel or the Palestinian Authority.
In April, the number of vouchers issued by the PA dropped below 2,000, whereas 2016 saw an average of 2,041 vouchers issued each month. In May, the number of vouchers issued plunged to just a few dozen, according to data from PHRI.
More than 90 percent of patients in Gaza who requested such vouchers over the past month did not received a reply from the PA, while only 10 of the some 120 daily requests submitted to the PA have been getting approved, according to the data, published by Israeli daily Haaretz.
Despite consistently denying allegations that PA policies have exacerbated the medical crisis in Gaza, the PA and Israel reportedly said they “reached a consensus” for the Palestinian Ministry of Health to “lift restrictions on financial commitments for Gazans’ medical treatment,” Haaretz reportedat the end of June.
“The humanitarian crisis in Gaza must be a wake-up call for everyone able to solve the problem,” PHRI Executive Director Ran Goldstein said last month. “Gaza’s children have become hostages in the political game played by the Palestinian Authority, Hamas, and Israel. The change must be dramatic and immediate — providing funds, medicines, and electric power, opening Gaza to the outside world and offering urgent humanitarian assistance.”
(Source / 09.07.2017)

ICSPR PA forces 6,000 Gaza civil servants into early retirement

 

Press Release

ICSPR PA forces 6,000 Gaza civil servants into early retirement

International Commission to Support Palestinian Right I.C.S.P.R followed with concern that the Palestinian Authority (PA) has announced it will force more than 6,000 employees in the Gaza Strip into early retirement, in the latest attempt to pressure Hamas which controls the territory.

The approval of this illegal and unjust resolution into actual implement means the increasing of human suffering on Gaza strip people’s, especially that the majority of employees who forces to early retirement are working in the ministry of education and health, which is an evidence to a carefully considered plan of the presidency and Palestinian government institutions to impose a new situation that will increase the suffering of the Palestinian people in Gaza Strip.

International Commission to Support Palestinian Right I.C.S.P.R reaffirms its rejection of sanction and the sequence actions against Gaza Strip, and it consider that restoring the national unity is invaluable, and not in this illegal and immoral way, but it’s the only way to restore the national unity through the dialogue that will leads to the national consensus.

The International Commission to Support Palestinian Right I.C.S.P.R emphasizes the illegality of this resolution, especially that it does not achieve any public interest, but it’s achieve political goals at the expense of law and employee rights who haven’t receive their employment rights of financial bonus and others during the period of division, despite of their absence from their work that imposed by presidential and governmental decisions, ICSPR express its solidarity with employees who forces to early retirement , as it urges them to move in a peacefully and legally way to reject this procedure, therefore; ICSPR calls upon:

  • ICSPR emphasize that the decision to refer more than 6000 civilian employee to early retirement considered racist and discriminatory policy against employees of the Gaza Strip, and their families, and comes under a plan that government will withdraw its legal and moral responsibilities towards the Gaza Strip, especially it’s not the first of its kind, but preceded by a series of procedures, including deducting and cutting salaries and deprivation of bonuses and allowances.
  • ICSPR demands the President Mahmoud Abbas and the Palestinian Government to withdraw this resolution immediately, pursuant to rule of law and justice, and to prevent the arbitrary actions within the political conflict.
  • ICSPR calls upon all competent authorities to object at this procedure and stop it by all legal and judicial ways in addition to community and trade union movements.
  • ICSPR demands all Palestinian to restore national unity and halt the decline in the political system, rights and freedoms situation in preparation for presidential and legislative elections to the National Council.

(Source / 09.07.2017)

Hamas slams the PA disruption of Egyptian fuel imports to Gaza

Hamas vs Abbas about Egypt fuel

Hazem Qassem, Hamas spokesman, said that the efforts of the Palestinian Authority in Ramallah, headed by Mahmoud Abbas, to disrupt the supply of fuel from Egypt to Gaza’s Power Plant is a continuation of the policy of collective punishment against our people in the Gaza Strip.

Qassem said in a press statement on Saturday that “Abbas’s anger due to the understandings between Egypt and the delegation of Hamas Movement headed by Yahya Al-Sinwar during his recent visit to Cairo affirms that both the PA and Israel aim at tightening the siege of Gaza.”

He stressed that Abbas’s continuing and systematic attempts to halt these understandings with Egypt “reveal the extent of national betrayal exercised by the leadership of the PA against our people, to achieve personal goals.”

He pointed out that the leadership of the Hamas Movement continues its efforts in all directions to solve the crisis, and is still in contact with brothers in Egypt to discuss various means to ease the siege on the coastal enclave.”

Earlier today, the Gaza Energy Authority announced that two generators had stopped operating at the Gaza Power Plant after Egyptian fuel had stopped coming into the Gaza Strip following the Palestinian Monetary Authority’s (PMA) blockage of all financial transfers to Egyptian banks.

In a brief press release by the Gaza Energy Authority on Saturday, the Authority noted that the arrival of Egyptian fuel to Gaza had stopped two days ago, which impacted the power plant’s ability to operate generators.

He pointed out that work is underway to transfer funds using alternative means to resume the supply of fuel and restart operating the power plant.

(Source / 09.07.2017)