Hundreds of Gazans protest electricity cuts

AFP , Thursday 4 Jan 2018

Hundreds of Palestinians protested in the Gaza Strip on Thursday against electricity cuts and worsening economic conditions in the coastal enclave, an AFP journalist reported.

The demonstrators rallying in the Jabaliya refugee camp vented their anger against both the Palestinian Authority of president Mahmud Abbas and the Islamist movement Hamas, which runs Gaza.

"Our demands are fair. We want them to provide us with the minimum for a decent life," said Mohamed Nofal, one of the protesters.

"Life is really difficult in Gaza nowadays. No food, no water, no security, no border crossings, no education and no health," he told AFP.

Gaza's two million residents have been subjected to a decade-long blockade by Israel, which says it imposes the tight controls to prevent Hamas attacks on its territory.

The electricity cuts are a result of a dispute between the Palestinian Authority and Hamas.

The PA announced on Wednesday that it had agreed to restore payments for electricity in Gaza, six months after halting them.

The electricity payments have been a key issue in ongoing efforts at reconciliation between Hamas and Abbas's Fatah, but they have yet to take effect.

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