Concerns in the IDF are mounting that masses of Gazans will converge on the border fence with Israel if a threat by the Palestinian Authority to stop paying for Hamas’s use of electricity goes into effect next week.
The supply of fuel for the Strip has been a source of dispute between the PA and Hamas since the latter seized control of the Strip in a bloody coup in 2007. But despite the violent takeover from Fatah, Abbas’s government in Ramallah has until recently paid the bills for Gaza’s water and electricity as well as the salaries of thousands of civil servants (Fatah supporters who have not been working since the coup).
“In a few days there will be no electricity in Gaza. They [Hamas] have a dilemma for the first time whether to their use money for tunnels or electricity. They have always received electricity until now, but now they will have to decide what they prefer,” a senior IDF officer, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told journalists. He was referring to the terrorist organization choosing between “military” priorities, such as building attack tunnels, and civilian needs, such as electricity.