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Infighting between PA, Hamas Could Cause Health Crisis in Gaza

While a feud between Hamas, the terrorist group that rules Gaza, and the Fatah dominated Palestinian Authority that rules the West Bank, has threatened Gaza with a major health crisis, two Arab nations have pledged money to keep the generators in Gaza’s hospitals and medical centers running, Reuters reported on Friday.

So far, due to disagreements between the two leading Palestinian factions, generators at three of Gaza’s hospitals and 14 of its 54 medical centers have stopped operating due to a lack of funds according to the enclave’s health ministry.

The United Arab Emirates donated $2 million to keep the medical generators running, which, it said, would “provide enough fuel to keep facilities running for several months.” Qatar donated $9 million, which was announced on the nation’s foreign ministry website.

Though Hamas and the PA agreed in October on a reconciliation agreement that would transfer administration authority in Gaza to the PA, the two factions have failed to work out all the details of their power sharing agreement.

Last week, American Special Representative for International Negotiations Jason Greenblatt blasted Hamas for for causing “misery” to Gaza’s residents by choosing terror over “improving the lives it purports to govern” after Israel discovered explosive chemicals hidden in a shipment of medical supplies to Gaza.

Hamas has prioritized the building of tunnels and increasing the size of its arsenal, while most Gazans are limited to a few hours of electricity a day.

In December, it was reported that Yahye Sinwar, Hamas’s new chief in Gaza, seemed to confirm this assessment saying, “We made a mistake. We lack the ability and means to govern almost 2 million people, and in our arrogance we cast them into a state of indigence, hunger, and desperation.”

The problem of Hamas putting the building of its terror infrastructure ahead of the welfare of Gaza’s residents is not new.

The Times of Israel’s Avi Issacharoff reported in March 2016 on a scheme where Hamas enriched itself using Qatari money that was intended to build homes for Gazans. Although the homes were meant to be free, Hamas charged families $40,000 each, ostensibly to connect utilities, collecting an estimated $38 million to fund its other activities.

Palestinian affairs correspondent Khaled Abu Toameh pointed out a month earlier that Hamas has prioritized building up its terror infrastructure over rebuilding Gazan homes, writing that “the last thing Hamas cares about is the welfare of the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.”

In December 2014, Neri Zilber observed that, while Fatah and Hamas fight over control of Gaza’s reconstruction, “Israel, of all the parties involved, has shown the greatest degree of flexibility towards a Gaza Strip still ruled by Hamas.”

[Photo: The Telegraph / YouTube]