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Hamas Denies Existence of Plan to Relinquish Control of Gaza Amid Humanitarian Crisis


Report said that the Gaza group's armed wing wants to drop control of Gaza, handing border control over to terror groups, to pressure Abbas and the international community

Hamas denied reports that its military wing has presented a plan that effectively would create a power vacuum in Gaza with the aim of pressuring the Palestinian Authority and the international community to solve the enclave’s humanitarian crisis.

According to a Thursday report in the Al-Aqsa television station run by Hamas, the plan includes four points whose implementation could lead to a direct confrontation with Israel.

According to the plan, Hamas would relinquish day-to-day control of civil affairs in the Gaza Strip. The police would do their routine work with the assistance of the security forces. The military wing and other factions such as Islamic Jihad and the Popular Resistance Committees would be responsible for security along the border with Israel.

However, on Friday morning, Salah Bardawil, a member of the group's politburo, denied the report, saying that the group's political leadership has received no such proposal and had certainly not reached such a decision. He labeled the report a rumor being spread by those concerned by the situation in Gaza.

A Hamas source close to the political wing who spoke with Haaretz on Thursday said he doubted whether the organization was ready to relinquish control over the Gaza Strip. He called the television report a trial balloon meant to test reactions in Palestinian politics and among international organizations that operate in Gaza.

For several months the Palestinian Authority has been limiting funding for the Gaza Strip. This has been evident in the cutting of salaries for PA employees in Gaza and the retiring of thousands of others.

Payments for electricity provided by Israel have also been slashed, along with permits for Gazans needing to go to Israel or the West Bank for medical treatment.

Last week Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas announced that these cuts would continue until Hamas gave up control over Gaza and dissolved the committee functioning as a de facto government. Some analysts say that the next step will be cuts to schools and other public institutions.

Hamas has assailed Abbas, claiming that these cuts are unacceptable tactics targeting civilians. The group has said that the committee will continue to function.

Hamas has launched talks with Egypt as a result of this pressure, as well as with former senior Fatah member Mohammed Dahlan. The goal is to find ways to ease the suffering of civilians, especially with a view to opening the Rafah crossing between Gaza and Egypt and resolving the crisis in electricity supplies. So far no results are evident.

Hamas is also trying to open a new page with Tehran; last week a delegation visited Iran to hold meetings with senior officials including leaders of the Revolutionary Guard. Only members of Hamas’ political wing took part.

The group realizes that Iran cannot solve the humanitarian crisis because it is too far away. Thus Egypt will be the dominant player in any move to ease the suffering of Gazans.

In the Strip, the severe electricity shortage has left residents with as little as four hours of power a day in the sweltering summer heat, raising humanitarian concerns.

For several years, Gazans received roughly eight hours a day, and many rely on gasoline-fueled generators.

Jack Khoury

Haaretz Correspondent

read more: http://www.haaretz.com/middle-east-news/palestinians/1.806242

Hamas Denies Existence of Plan to Relinquish Control of Gaza Amid Humanitarian Crisis

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Video of the Week: Recent Israel History Miko Peled

Transcription made from The Miko's Speeches

This is a beautiful church so once again thank you to the pastor for allowing us to use this is really beautiful and thank you all for being here tonight and and for caring enough to take the time and listen and participate and be active I always begin my remarks with a disclaimer and that disclaimer is this if anybody here came hoping to hear a balanced presentation then they're going to be sorely disappointed I say this because a lot of things that you're about to hear tonight are difficult to hear and also because I don't believe that a balanced presentation on this topic is possible anybody that cares enough to speak about this probably has a very strong opinion one way or the other almost everybody has feelings and strong emotions on this issue one way or the other for me it's deeply personal and the issue itself is not a balanced issue there is no balance in this issue so therefore I say this because there cannot be a balanced presentation on this and I think if anybody claims that their presentation is balanced they're either misleading themselves or the misleading of their audience this whole issue of Israel and Palestine is covered in so much myth and there's so much there's so much double standard when people talk about this issue and I'll give you two examples

Don't know if you heard Bibi Netanyahu speech at the United Nations I heard it not live but after he actually delivered it and he began and he began it with probably the two most striking examples of myth and double standard and he began by talking about the right of return of the Jews to their ancient homeland and of course the Jews that returned so-called returned to their homeland were not exactly the the same Jews who were expelled from their homeland right because these were expelled a couple of thousand years before that these were not their descendants either because they this is business has been a very long time so these are people the people that actually came back so to speak are people that claim some kind of a heritage some kind of a connection a relationship to the ancient Hebrews and they claimed that they had the right to return to their homeland and this was this is what Zionism was about and this is expected this was you know accepted by the world as the right they had the right to return now if we talk about the right of return of one nation you'd expect that there would be if we accept it as a principle than

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