Dysfunctional Muslims Behaving Badly Leads To Worst Gaza Energy Crisis In Years

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    Washington Post: Standoff Between Egypt, Hamas Leads To Gaza’s Worst Energy Crisis In Years

    Standoff between Egypt, Hamas leads to Gaza’s worst energy crisis in years - The Washington Post

    GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip — A dispute between Egypt and Gaza’s Hamas government has produced the worst energy crisis here in years: Gazans are enduring 18-hour-a-day blackouts, fuel is running low for hospital backup generators, raw sewage pours into the Mediterranean Sea for lack of treatment pumps and gas stations have shut down.

    The fuel and electricity shortages, which have escalated over the past two months, are infuriating long-suffering Gazans who say their basic needs, perhaps more than ever, are being sacrificed for politics.

    “Life here is getting worse every day,” said Rawda Sami, 22, part of a group of students waiting in vain for public taxis outside the Islamic University. “There is no power, no transportation, and none of the leaders are thinking of us.”

    Ostensibly the spat revolves around fuel supplies from Egypt — but on a broader level, it is linked to Egypt’s troubled relationship with Hamas and its long-standing deep ambivalence toward Gaza itself.

    Hamas wants not just fuel: It hopes to leverage the crisis into getting Egypt to open a direct trade route with Gaza. Such an outcome might stabilize the Islamic militants’ rule over the territory they seized in 2007 from Western-backed Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, headquartered in the West Bank.

    Hospitals say fuel supplies for generators have run dangerously low, endangering hundreds dependent on steady electricity, including premature babies in incubators, kidney patients on dialysis and those in intensive care. Half the ambulances serving Gaza’s biggest hospital have been grounded.

    Most cars are now off the streets, and large crowds fight over the few public taxis. The Gaza Cabinet ordered some 1,800 civil servants with government-issue cars to start picking up hitchhikers.

    Those with diesel cars have begun pouring used cooking oil into their tanks. Water supplies have dropped sharply because there’s not enough fuel to pump it up from wells. Sewage is discharged into the Mediterranean because waste-treatment pumps can’t operate.

    In recent days, Hamas has sent dozens of supporters to demonstrate near the Egyptian border to demand that Cairo start sending fuel.

    But Hamas faces growing discontent.

    “The government is responsible to find a solution for us,” said Amjad Daban, a 44-year-old teacher who spent an hour Wednesday looking for transport. “I don’t care where the fuel will come from. What I need is to find electricity and transportation.”

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