Netanyahu: No interest in escalation over Gaza power spat

Netanyahu: No interest in escalation over Gaza power spat

Netanyahu: No interest in escalation over Gaza power spat

The Qatar crisis and internal and external pressures on the Gaza Strip which is under Israeli siege, is turning the area into a proverbial timebomb, with experts warning of another outbreak of violence.

Israel is internationally recognized as an occupying power in Gaza, and is thus responsible for the welfare of the people living there, Skarekh said, lamenting that at the same time the global community "does not punish the state of Israel" for what he says are "racial laws against the Palestinian people".

Over 80% of Gaza's electricity supply is now provided by Israel and human rights activists warn that the latest cuts could trigger a humanitarian crisis for the two million Palestinians living there.

Gisha, an Israeli human rights group, warned that the current situation in Gaza is already grave, and the new cutting poses "serious risks" to the two million residents of Gaza.

Meanwhile, prisoners affairs expert Abd al-Nasser Farawaneh told Ma'an that the case of missing Palestinians remained unaddressed because of both Israeli and Palestinian leadership. The cut will reportedly reduce the daily average of electricity by another 45 minutes.

Earlier on Monday, Hamas and the Gaza electric company warned against reducing power to the Strip, with the militant group calling Israel's decision "disastrous".

"Those who will bear the consequences of this decision are the Israeli enemy... and Abbas", he charged. Israeli generals have said that the power cuts could lead to a military escalation between Hamas and Israel. It indicates that Israel is imposing collective punishment on the civilian population to achieve political goals.

Most recently, he asked Israel to reduce Gaza electricity by 40 percent. "This means that the Gaza Strip is completely dependent on electricity from Israel", he added. However, the payments account only for a portion of the total bill; the rest is paid by the PA out of money it receives from worldwide donors specifically for the humanitarian needs of Gaza.

On Friday, UNRWA announced it had found a tunnel passing under two of its schools in the Gaza Strip and has complained to Hamas, the Palestinian faction in charge of the blockaded coastal enclave.

Abbas said he would reduce the amount of money the PA pays to Israel to supply the electricity, Haaretz reported.

PA official Tariq Reshmawi said for the past 10 years the authority has paid Israel $12.7 million dollars (11.3 million euros) and Egypt $2 million (1.8 million euros) every month for providing power to the strip.

Government ministers said that although Israel has an interest in averting a humanitarian crisis in Gaza, the nation won't intervene on Hamas' behalf and foot the electricity bill that the Palestinian Authority refuses to pay. The war also caused several billions of dollars in damage to Gaza's economy.

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