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Israel Can Let the Lights Go Out over Gaza

June 19 2017

In April, in order to punish Hamas for refusing to pay taxes, the Palestinian Authority (PA) decided to stop supplying the Gaza Strip with fuel for its sole power plant. The PA then also ceased its long-time custom of paying for 40 percent of the electricity Gaza imports from Israel. Unsurprisingly, Hamas has agreed neither to start paying its taxes nor to start paying for its own power imports. Israel, after supplying the electricity free of charge for six weeks, has now announced that it will pull the plug. Efraim Inbar comments:

The Hamas leadership in Gaza has threatened Israel with “an explosion” if it does not supply electricity to Gaza at the expense of Israeli taxpayers. Blackmail is, of course, part of the Hamas repertoire. . . .

Voices in Israel and abroad are advocating “moderation”—meaning capitulation—and insisting that Israel has no interest in an escalation. While Israel naturally prefers quiet along its borders, giving in to Hamas’s demands and granting it a victory will only lead to further demands. Supplying electricity to Gaza in exchange for a promise that Gazans refrain from shooting at Israeli civilians is no different from paying protection money to the Mafia.

There is no strategic or moral reason why Israel should supply free electricity to Gaza. While Israel does not desire escalation, it has no reason to fear it. . . .

Hamas exploits the suffering of Gazans to extract humanitarian aid and sympathy for their cause. But Gazans cannot be exempted from responsibility for the consequences of Hamas’s actions.

Read more at BESA Center

More about: Gaza Strip, Hamas, Israel & Zionism, Palestinian Authority

 

Palestinian Unification Brings No Benefits to Israel Unless It Involves Disarmament

Oct. 17 2017

On Thursday, Hamas—which governs the Gaza Strip—and Fatah—which governs parts of the West Bank through the auspices of the Palestinian Authority (PA)—signed an agreement ending over a decade of conflict. The agreement will allow Hamas to share the governance of Gaza with the Fatah-controlled PA; crucially, the PA will again supply Gaza with fuel, electricity, and medical supplies. But Hamas will maintain control over its military and terrorist operations, and thus, writes Alan Baker, the agreement brings peace no closer:

The Hamas-Fatah unity agreement could, in principle, be seen to be a positive development in the general framework of the Middle East peace process . . . [were it] to enable a responsible and unified Palestinian leadership, speaking with one voice and duly empowered to further peace negotiations. . . .

[But in order for such an agreement to have this effect, its] basic tenet . . . must be the open reaffirmation of the already existing and valid Palestinian commitments vis-à-vis Israel and the international community, signatories as witnesses to the Oslo Accords. Such commitments, set out in detail in the accords, include ending terror, incitement, boycott, and international attempts to bypass the negotiating process. Above all, they require dismantling all terror groups and infrastructures. They necessitate a return to economic and security cooperation and a positive negotiating mode. . . .

The Palestinian Authority also has its own obligation to cease supporting terrorists and their families with salaries and welfare payments. Since the present unification does not fulfill [this requirement], it cannot be acceptable either to the international community or to Israel.

Read more at Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs

More about: Fatah, Gaza Strip, Hamas, Israel & Zionism, Palestinians