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March 25, 2015 1:21 pm

Gaza Palestinians Call Power Cutoff by Egypt Worse Than Israeli Policy

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Palestinians in the Gaza Strip vented anger about Egypt's decision to cut off power to parts of southern Gaza. Photo: Wikimedia Commons. – Palestinian residents of the Gaza Strip cities of Khan Younis and Rafah took to the streets on Tuesday after Egypt had cut off power to parts of southern Gaza. The protesters vented their anger at Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi and his government in light of reports that the decision to take parts of those towns off the grid was made by high-ranking officials in Egypt’s Ministry of Electricity and Energy.

Egyptian media said the government resorted to that measure as a result of outstanding payments owed by a Palestinian utility company. The Hamas terrorist group’s government in Gaza cannot generate enough power on its own and has over the years had to rely on the Egyptian and Israeli grid.

A senior official at the Palestinian Energy Ministry told Israel Hayom that healthcare facilities in southern Gaza had to rely on emergency generators, but stressed that the generators were only a short-term remedy. The protesters said they were unintended victims of the ongoing spat between Gaza-ruling Hamas and the Egyptian government, which designates Hamas as a terrorist organization due to its affiliation with the Muslim Brotherhood. Some protesters told Arab media that the power cutoff by Egypt was worse than the “Israeli blockade,” referring to the restrictions Israel imposes on Gaza to prevent terrorist activity.

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“Even when we had the war with the Zionists, they did not cut off our power supply and water like El-Sisi the criminal,” one Palestinian said.

“El-Sisi’s government is worse than the Zionist occupation,” another protester said.

Meanwhile, Egypt’s crackdown on Hamas’s terrorist infrastructure continues. Egyptian forces have demolished several homes on both sides of the country’s border with Gaza this week as part of an ongoing effort to curtail tunneling activity. Terrorists who wish to infiltrate into Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula and join local jihadist groups often do so through cross-border tunnels, which are also used for illicit trade and arms smuggling. Dozens of Egyptian troops have been killed in recent clashes with Islamic terrorists in the Sinai.

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