UN envoy Nickolay Mladenov has been leading marathon meetings in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip with Israel’s Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories to solve Gaza’s electricity crisis, Safa news agency reported on Wednesday. The UN’s Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process was told by Yoav Mordechai that Israel is neither planning nor prepared to bear the financial burden of Gaza’s electricity supply.
Mordechai also told the UN official that Israel had deducted the costs of last month’s electricity from the taxes it collects on behalf of the Palestinian Authority in Ramallah. The Israeli government rejected the PA’s request not to do so; it is not sure if it will do the same again next month.
The international community should take responsibility to pay for electricity supplied to the besieged enclave, insisted the Israeli coordinator. According to Mladenov, the PA and Hamas “must maintain the welfare of Gaza residents.” He apparently overlooked the immoral and illegal siege when making such a comment.
The PA insists on levying high taxes on the fuel bought for the electricity plant in Gaza. The de facto government run by Hamas refuses to pay such high taxes, so the Fatah-controlled PA simply stops supplying the fuel. The people of Gaza are caught in the middle of this political wrangling.