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July 23, 2017 1:15 pm

Gaza-Egypt Border to Open in August, Move Expected to Ease Electricity Crisis

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The Rafah border crossing between Egypt and the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip. Photo: Gigi Ibrahim via Wikimedia Commons. Former Gaza security chief Mohammed Dahlan has declared that the Hamas-ruled territory can expect to see the easing of its electricity crisis due to the opening of its border with Egypt in August.

The exiled Palestinian Fatah faction leader, who is currently based in the United Arab Emirates, made the statements in a phone interview with The Associated Press, asserting that agreements were reached in quiet negotiations with Hamas and Egypt.

Dahlan attributed the breakthrough to his “good chemistry” with the Hamas terror group’s newly elected political chief in Gaza, Yahya Sinwar, who grew up with Dahlan in Gaza’s Khan Younis neighborhood but joined Hamas instead of its rival, Fatah.

According to Dahlan, a $100 million Gulf-funded power plant will eventually be constructed in Gaza, easing electricity shortages. Gaza’s only power plant ran out of fuel in April, with Hamas blaming the energy shortage on high fuel taxes imposed by the Palestinian Authority (PA), which is controlled by Fatah. Since then, Gaza has primarily relied on electricity supplied by Israel and paid for by the PA.

The PA recently reduced its payments to Israel for the electricity, leading the Jewish state to cut the power supply to Gaza by almost a third, precipitating Gaza’s current energy crisis.

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