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Sunday, March 18, 2012

Gaza fuel crisis continues and Hamas keeps blaming everyone else

Even though there were reports that the Gaza government would allow some power plant fuel from Egypt to enter Gaza via Kerem Shalom, it has not yet happened.

This time, Hamas is blaming "Egyptian intelligence" for the delay.

A Hamas official pretty much admitted that the Gaza government strategy is to put pressure on Arab governments to deal directly with Hamas and give them what they want by using public pressure: He "expressed confidence that the Arab peoples of the Spring would pressure their governments to improve living conditions in Gaza."

Another Hamas official said that Egypt had no reason to insist that fuel go thorough Israel, calling it "political blackmail" and an "attempt to subdue Hamas." Fuel transferred via Israel to Gaza gets taxed by the PA and Hamas is seeking to get fuel straight from Egypt so it can tax the fuel directly to blunt Hamas' own cash crunch.

The Rafah crossing cannot handle large amounts of fuel, as it has no pipelines to Gaza.

Meanwhile, Hamas has also reduced the supply of cooking gas via Israel to Gaza, causing people in Gaza serious problems, but they are still blaming Israel.

Yesterday, Palestinian Arabs protested the energy crisis, but instead of demanding that Hamas allow fuel to enter the area through Kerem Shalom - which they have resisted for over a year - they are demanding that Egypt increase their electrical grid connectivity to Gaza. It has already increased from 17 to 22 megawatts, with plans to increase it to 27 mW in the near future.

Israel directly supplies 120 megawatts to Gaza daily.