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Gaza Faces Mounting Frustration as Hamas Marks a Decade of Independent Policy | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Hamas Leader Ismail Haniyeh (Photo: AP)

Ramallah- Ten years into Hamas taking control over Gaza Strip, options have diminished over time to the extent that threats of going into a fourth war with Israel emerged.

Hamas, refusing to cooperate with the Palestinian Authorities, now confronts the building steam of Ramallah’s effort to retake Gaza.

Day after day Gaza residents sense a growing frustration and fears of a new war. Statistics show shocking figures, with almost a two million Palestinians are living below the line, with a staggering daily income averaging $2 dollars per worker.

In a move to take back the Gaza Strip, Palestinian Authorities decided to continue pressuring Hamas so that the latter cooperates and returns to the umbrella of government.

President Mahmoud Abbas would go as far as cutting all communication lines with Hamas should they continue to block Ramallah plans for Palestinian unity.

Ramallah’s ruling party, Fatah, said that spilling Palestinian blood and polarizing the people is inexcusable and must be immediately halted. For its part, Hamas defended its actions saying that they were based on long-standing principals.

Sources said that Abbas has signed on a number of decisions, like the cutback on public sector paychecks, removing power and gas reimbursements, and taxes were reinstalled. These measures are considered to further add pressure on the Gaza ruling party, swaying them in to cooperate.

More so, the latest round of power cuts announced by Israel on June 11 restricting the electricity supply to between two and three hours a day, will have a disastrous impact on Hamas ruling party.

The UN humanitarian coordinator for the occupied territories, Robert Piper, warned the additional power cuts would have a disastrous effect.

“A further increase in the length of blackouts is likely to lead to a total collapse of basic services, including critical functions in the health, water and sanitation sectors,” Piper said in a statement.

“The people in Gaza should not be held hostage to this long-standing internal Palestinian dispute,” he said.

Fatah has officially demanded that Hamas takes on its share of national responsibilities, and end the ongoing crisis which has polarized the ranks of Palestinians since 2007.

The Fatah–Hamas conflict, also referred to as the Palestinian Civil War, resulted in the split of the Palestinian Authority in 2007.

Fatah Spokesman Osama Al-Qawasmi said that in the tenth year of Hamas taking over the Gaza, pressure has only been building against the Palestinian cause.

“That should be a motive for Hamas to abandon partisan goals and put national interest first,” said Qawasimi.