Saturday, March 3, 2012

Hamas says Egypt to blame for Gaza energy crisis

By Joseph Mayton
Bikya Masr

"CAIRO: Hamas leader in Gaza put the blame for the power crisis in the Gaza Strip on Egypt, arguing that continued power outages are the result of Cairo not implementing promises to boost their electricity output.

Ismail Haniyeh told reporters on Friday that Egypt was in complete control of the flow of fuel into Gaza and alluded to Cairo officials not doing enough to assist the Palestinians since the ouster of former President Hosni Mubarak.

It comes as many households in the small Mediterranean enclave are receiving only around 6 hours of electricity daily, which has begun to cause anger and resentment towards the Islamic group in Gaza.

The statements from Haniyeh are likely to cause a rift with Cairo, who said in recent weeks it would help boost energy outputs to Gaza.

Is it reasonable that Gaza remains without electricity a year after the revolution in Egypt?” Haniyeh said in a weekly address, accusing Cairo of trying to force Gazans to accept their energy supplies via arch foe Israel.

Is it reasonable that Gaza remains blockaded a year after the dismissal of the tyrant (Mubarak) regime?” he said.

Egypt is seen as the last hope for Gaza as Israel continues a complete economic blockade on the 1.5 million inhabitants in Gaza, who struggle for basic daily supplies.

Although Cairo has promised to open the border at Rafah, it remains sporadically open and Palestinians are still unable to move freely into Egypt. Supplies are in short order and despite hopes that a post-revolution Egypt would bring change to the political dynamic in the region, Palestinians in Gaza continue to struggle daily for the basic necessities of life."

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