Monday, 26 March 2012

Hamas delegation in Cairo to discuss Gaza power crisis

GAZA, (PIC)-- A delegation of the Hamas movement led by its political bureau member Dr. Mahmoud Al-Zahhar is currently in Cairo to discuss means of solving the Gaza power crisis with Egyptian officials, Dr. Salah Bardawil, a Hamas leader, said.

He denied, in a statement to Quds Press on Monday, that the crisis was because the Gaza government did not pay the electricity bills, adding that the bill for the fuel to Gaza power station is paid by the European Union.

The Hamas MP said that Zahhar would discuss in Cairo the possibility of Egyptian participation in alleviating the power crisis in Gaza, adding that Egypt was also suffering a similar crisis due to internal attempts to destabilize the government. more

Police in Gaza detain dozens of drivers for allegedly spreading rumors in fuel crisis

AZA CITY, Gaza Strip — Police in Hamas-ruled Gaza have detained dozens of taxi drivers for allegedly spreading “rumors” about the territory’s worst power crisis in years, officials said Monday,

The detentions, which began over the weekend, signaled that the Islamic militant Hamas is increasingly concerned about the political fallout from crippling shortages of fuel and electricity.

Authorities did not explain what got the drivers in trouble, beyond saying the “rumors” had to do with the energy crisis.

However, residents say there’s growing talk among Gazans that Hamas is keeping separate supplies of fuel for its government and loyalists, a claim Hamas denies.

At the root of the two-month-old crisis is a standoff between Hamas and neighboring Egypt over the delivery and payment for fuel.

Fuel smuggled from Egypt through tunnels under the border used to be the main source of energy for Gaza, including the territory’s only power station that provides 60 percent of the electricity.

Hamas now wants Egypt to deliver fuel to Gaza through a passage above ground, trying to establish a precedent Hamas hopes could evolve into a full-fledged trade route with Egypt.

Egypt is fearful such a link would be seen as absolving Israel, Gaza’s longtime occupier, of its responsibility for territory. Despite a 2005 withdrawal from Gaza, Israel continues to control access by air, land and sea. Egypt wants to route any future fuel shipments through Israel and insists at selling it at international prices. Hamas is searching for fuel subsidies from Arab countries.

A solution to the standoff is not in sight. As a result of the shortages, Gaza’s power station has been offline most of the time since Feb. 10, leading to rolling 18-hour-a-day blackouts. more

Gaza women gather in support of Global March to Jerusalem

Monday, 26 March 2012 / Scoop, by Julie Webb-Pullman - Scores of women today held an event outside the Palestinian Legislative Council in Gaza City, in the lead up to this Friday’s Global March to Jerusalem (GMJ).

The GMJ is drawing global attention to the dangers to Jerusalem’s very survival as the embodiment of the cultural heritage of the three monotheistic religions of Islam, Christianity and Judaism.

Many of the women present were older, and carried keys to the homes they were forced out of in 1948.

The gathering was addressed by Hamas spokesperson Mosher Al Masry, and Dr Ahmed Abu Halabiya, head of the Gaza GMJ Committee, and member of the Palestinian Legislative Council.

Throughout the speeches the women cheered and chanted, adding their voices to the demands for recognition of their rights as the indigenous people of Palestine, their right of return to their homeland, and their rights to hold their own religious and political beliefs, free from discrimination.

The right of return is a right recognised by international law under UN Resolution 194. more

The official site for the Global March to Jerusalem is hereThe march takes place on 30 March 2012.