Hamas: Cutting electricity to Gaza would be 'catastrophic'

AP News
Posted: Jun 12, 2017 9:57 AM

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) — Gaza's militant Hamas rulers are warning of renewed violence if Israel acquiesces to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' wishes and reduces electricity to the isolated territory.

Hamas spokesman Abdulatif al-Qanou says Monday Israel's decision to do so would be "dangerous and catastrophic."

Gaza's 2 million residents already get by with only four hours of electricity a day. In an effort to push his Hamas rivals out of power, Abbas says his West Bank government will stop paying Israel to provide electricity.

That has put Israel in the tough spot of having to choose between siding with Hamas in the internal Palestinian struggle or risking a humanitarian crisis in the impoverished coastal strip.

The Haaretz newspaper reports that Israel's Cabinet decided to cut back supplies but this could not be immediately confirmed.