Photo Credit: Izz a-Din al-Qassam website - qassam.ps
"They have electricity for tunnels, not for the people of Gaza. Hamas to blame for Gaza electricity crisis." - IDF Spokesperson Peter Lerner

Qatar has come to save the day in Gaza – at least, Qatar’s millions are being donated — to help out with the current power crisis in the region.

Two million Gaza residents have been treated to a scant two or three hours of electricity a day – less than half the usual allocation – thanks to a political battle between the Hamas regime in Gaza City, and the Ramallah government in the Palestinian Authority.

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Thousands of Gazans have been protesting the lack of electricity as they face a bitterly cold winter and intermittent rains.

The Palestinian Authority pays for 30 megawatts of electricity imported to the enclave from Egypt, and 120 megawatts of electricity supplied to the region by Israel. But the Palestinian Authority itself in neck-deep in debt and several times in the past was itself cut off from electricity it imported from Israel, due to the millions of shekels it owed Israel Electric Company.

Although in the past the Ramallah government exempted Gaza from taxes on the power, it is no longer offsetting the full amount, due to its own precarious financial situation. Gaza, meanwhile, is demanding 450-500 megawatts of power per day, but receives barely a third of that amount.

To end the quarrel, Qatar has donated $12 million to the Energy Authority run by Hamas in Gaza. The funds are to be used to buy fuel to supply a generator at the Gaza power plant.

The donation is expected to help provide electricity in eight-hour cycles for the next three months – that is, unless Hamas diverts the power for use to build more of its terrorist tunnels, again.

As Lieutenant-Colonel Peter Lerner, Spokesperson for the IDF, tweeted over the weekend, “They have electricity for tunnels, not for the people of Gaza #Hamas to blame for #Gaza electricity crisis.”

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for Babble.com, Chabad.org and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.