(JNS.org) Residents of the Gaza Strip are angered by the failure of Hamas, the Palestinian terror group that governs their territory, to address the area’s severe energy crisis.
Gaza’s recent power shortage has left residents with only three to four hours of electricity per day and has sparked rare internal Palestinian criticism of Hamas, including protests and most recently a suicide attempt. Gaza civilian Islam al-Maqusi, 20, doused himself in gasoline and set himself on fire Monday in the al-Bureij refugee camp, the Times of Israel reported. Police believe al-Maqusi, who was hospitalized, committed the act in protest of the Hamas leadership.
Arab countries are assisting Gazans, with Qatar promising $12 million in fuel during the next three months. Turkey also committed emergency fuel, leading Gaza’s electricity authority to announce Monday that it would restore power to Gazan households for eight hours per day.
Israel’s Electric Corporation sells power to the West Bank-based Palestinian Authority (PA), which in turn distributes fuel to Gaza-based Hamas in exchange for reimbursement. Yet Gaza residents have accused Hamas of extortive tax hikes, making the residents unable to pay their taxes or electricity bills and Hamas unable to reimburse PA for fuel. Despite the pledged assistance from Arab countries, more Palestinian civilian protests against Hamas are planned for this week.