Gaza’s main power plant reportedly suspended operations today over a lack of sufficient fuel supplies. This comes just 24 hours after the Kerem Shalom crossing, the main access point for for fuel trucks to enter the Gaza Strip, was closed after a fuel tanker exploded. The incident left one dead and several others injured. For the people of Gaza, the power plant closure will limit access to electricity in the Strip to 6 hours a day.
Unfortunately, access to power is only one of a myriad of issues currently faced by Palestinian residents of the Gaza Strip. Tensions between Hamas and Fatah are at an all time high since a wave of bombings on November 7 targeted the homes of 10 Fatah officials living in the Gaza Strip. While Hamas continues to deny responsibility for the attacks, Fatah officials are vehement in their accusation of Hamas involvement.
According to senior Fatah official Nasser al-Qidwa, “The Fatah central committee condemns the crimes which took place this morning against its leaders and lays the responsibility for these crimes upon Hamas.” In response, Hamas has arrested at least one suspect involved in the bombings, which threaten the stability of the already shaky Palestinian unity government.
Prior to the November 7 attacks, Israeli media reports emerged revealing close coordination between the Fatah-led PA and the IDF in a large-scale crackdown against Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad militants in the West Bank. The operation, which has thus far led to the arrest of 250 militants, was launched after PA officials accused Hamas of facilitating the recent upswing in West Bank and Jerusalem-based militancy.
With all of this in mind, the joint effort by the Israeli and Egyptian militaries to increase security in the areas bordering the Gaza Strip is likely to continue to impinge upon the daily lives of those living in the Gaza Strip at an increased level. At the same time, it’s highly unlikely that the Palestinian government can and will do anything to reverse that course…..