GAZA (Reuters) – Palestinian Islamist group Hamas faces growing discontent in its Gaza stronghold because of renewed tax hikes and the mismanagement of a power crisis that has led to lengthy blackouts across the enclave.
Traders who import goods from Israel and the West Bank say Hamas authorities have introduced additional fees beyond the usual tax they collect, putting their businesses at risk and threatening the livelihoods of thousands of workers.
GAZA, March 2 (Reuters) – Gaza’s top political leader
blamed Egypt on Friday for causing a power crisis that has
triggered lengthy blackouts in the Palestinian enclave, laying
bare tensions between his Islamist group Hamas and Cairo.
The outages started in mid February, leaving households with
just six hours of electricity a day, provoking widespread
criticism within the territory of Hamas, which governs Gaza.
By Omar Fahmy and Nidal al-Mughrabi
CAIRO/GAZA, Feb 24 (Reuters – Leaders of the Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas turned publicly against their long-time ally President Bashar al-Assad of Syria on Friday, endorsing the revolt aimed at overthrowing his dynastic rule.
The policy shift deprives Assad of one of his few remaining Sunni Muslim supporters in the Arab world and deepens his international isolation. It was announced in Hamas speeches at Friday prayers in Cairo and a rally in the Gaza Strip.
GAZA (Reuters) – Hamas has set new terms for implementing a reconciliation deal with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’s rival Fatah group, an official said Thursday, dimming even further chances the accord will be put into effect.
Abbas and Khaled Meshaal, Hamas’s political chief in exile, agreed in Qatar earlier this month to form a unity government led by the Western-backed president.
GAZA (Reuters) – Several thousand Palestinians rallied in Gaza and the West Bank Friday in support of jailed Islamic Jihad leader Khader Adnan, who is on the 62nd day of a hunger strike to protest against his detention by Israel.
“We are all Khader Adnan,” chanted crowds gathered in the Gaza Strip, with activists from the main political parties joining forces in a rare display of Palestinian unity.
GAZA, Feb 14 (Reuters) – The Gaza Strip’s only power
station, which supplies the Palestinian enclave with up to
two-thirds of its energy needs, was shut down on Tuesday because
of a shortage of fuel smuggled in from neighbouring Egypt.
The closure led to widespread blackouts for Gaza’s 1.7
million inhabitants. The local power company warned that
households would receive only six hours of electricity a day
until the problem was resolved.
GAZA (Reuters) – The two top leaders of the Islamist Palestinian group Hamas failed at secret talks in Qatar on Sunday to resolve an internal crisis over a reconciliation pact with the rival Fatah movement of President Mahmoud Abbas, a diplomat in the region said.
The first open leadership split in the 25-year history of Hamas — the militant, Iranian-funded organisation which opposes a peace treaty with Israel — arose over how far it should go in closing ranks with Fatah, the Palestinian mainstream group.
GAZA (Reuters) – Gaza runner Bahaa al-Farra treads carefully, braving the elements and potholed roads ravaged by years of conflict between Palestinian militants and the Israeli army, as he prepares to race at the London Olympics.
The 19-year-old trains for three hours a day in Gaza’s Yarmouk soccer stadium, along the dusty streets and on the beach in well worn trainers that were donated to the Palestine Olympic Committee by wealthy Gulf state, Qatar.
GAZA, Feb 13 (Reuters) – Gaza runner Bahaa al-Farra
treads carefully, braving the elements and potholed roads
ravaged by years of conflict between Palestinian militants and
the Israeli army, as he prepares to race at the London Olympics.
The 19-year-old trains for three hours a day in Gaza’s
Yarmouk soccer stadium, along the dusty streets and on the beach
in well worn trainers that were donated to the Palestine Olympic
Committee by wealthy Gulf state, Qatar.
GAZA (Reuters) – Hamas’s Gaza-based leadership challenged on Wednesday a Palestinian reconciliation deal signed by the Islamist group’s political chief in exile and President Mahmoud Abbas of the rival Fatah movement.
Bringing divisions within Hamas to the surface, the group’s “Change and Reform” Gaza parliamentary bloc came out against a key clause in the pact under which Abbas would serve both as president and prime minister of a future Palestinian government.