(JNS.org) Following a decision by the Palestinian Authority (PA) to pay only 60 percent of the Gaza Strip’s monthly electricity bill, the Israeli government Sunday agreed with the PA’s request to cut electricity that the Jewish state provides to the Hamas-ruled territory by 35 percent.
The PA’s move aims to pressure the Palestinian terror group to relinquish some of its control of Gaza to the PA. The cut in electricity leaves 2 million residents of Gaza with two to three hours of electrical power per day, down from the four hours per day available to them since April.
PA President Mahmoud Abbas had warned that “unprecedented measures” would be implemented if Hamas does not forfeit some of its control over Gaza to the PA. Hamas has refused to comply with Abbas’s demands.
The West Bank-based PA has paid the monthly bill of NIS 40 million ($11.3 million) for electricity provided by Israel to Gaza since Hamas seized control of the coastal territory in 2007. Following Hamas’s coup in Gaza, repeated attempts by Abbas’s Fatah party and Hamas to create a Palestinian unity government have failed.