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Hamas accuses the PA of prolonging siege on Gaza

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas (R) receives Hamas delegations at his office in Ramallah, West Bank on 1 August 2017 [Palestinian Presidency/Anadolu Agency]

Hamas accused the Palestinian Authority (PA) yesterday of hindering the execution of recent agreements made between the movement and Egypt on breaking the siege on the Gaza Strip.

The first deputy to the president of the Palestinian legislative council of Hamas, Ahmed Bahr, said in a statement, "the Palestinian Authority is continuing its attempts to put obstacles in the way of the agreements that were made in Egypt".

Bahr added that the authority headed by Mahmoud Abbas refuses to respond to calls about unity and reconciliation. He also called for the opening of a comprehensive and inclusive national dialogue that works on addressing the national crisis from its roots.

The Hamas official also stressed the need to implement the reconciliation agreements and stop the racist procedures and the collective punishments that target Gaza, according to the statement.

Hamas accuses the PA of attempting to stifle Gaza, whereas the authority says that the goal behind such measures is to put pressure on Hamas in order to end the division.

Recently the PA reduced its contribution to the cost of electricity that arrives in Gaza from Israel. It also stopped the fuel supply of the only power station in Gaza and cut the salaries of a number of Palestinian detainees that were released from Israeli prisons that are affiliated with Hamas.

On Sunday Abbas told Israeli lawmakers that he has proposed resuming security coordination with Israel.

Read: Combating the PA's manipulation of humanitarian aid

Hamas officials have recently announced agreements that they reached with Egyptian officials regarding easing the conditions in Gaza which has been besieged for 10 years now.

According to Hamas officials, some of the agreements they reached with the Egyptian officials include the entry of Egyptian commercial goods and fuel into Gaza, as well as organising the opening of the Rafah crossing that was only opened for 14 days this year.

The "People's Committee to Counter the Blockade on Gaza" called to facilitate the mobility of passengers to and from Gaza in order to attract investment projects that can help to gradually decrease poverty and unemployment rates among its inhabitants.

#EndGazaSiege

In a press release the committee highlighted the fact that more than 80 per cent of the inhabitants of Gaza rely primarily on humanitarian aid.

The statement stressed that "this difficult reality is getting more dangerous, especially under the continuing Israeli blockade for more than 10 years now, in addition to the impact of divisions and three Israeli wars, which imposed on Gaza an unprecedented harsh and extremely difficult reality, even in its smallest details".

International organisations have warned that Gaza will be unlivable in 2020 if the humanitarian situation continues to deteriorate at the same rate.

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