During an interview with BBC Arabic, Major-General Yoav Mordechai discussed the electricity crisis in Gaza, saying that Israel will need to reduce the electricity supply because the Palestinian Authority is refusing to pay the bill.

Life in Gaza

Life in Gaza Photo Credit: Reuters/Channel 2 News

Head of the IDF’s Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories Major-General Yoav Mordechai told BBC Arabic that Hamas is responsible for the electricity crisis in Gaza. He also said that Israel will need to reduce its electricity supply to Gaza. “Hamas takes 100 million shekels from the Gaza citizens a month and prefers that this money goes to tunnels, digs and the organization and only after that does the money go to the people,” he said.

The IDF officer was asked during the interview whether Israel has decided to stop supplying Gaza with electricity completely and replied: “Israel today is the only one that is supplying Gaza with electricity. The electric plant doesn’t work and the lines from the south don’t transmit electricity. There are 125 megawatts that come from Israel. There was also an Israeli government decision to increase that amount by another 100 megawatts but, unfortunately, there are the interior problems between Hamas in Gaza and the Palestinian Authority in Ramallah and they brought the PA to decide to stop funding the electricity.”

“The electricity goes to the tunnels and Fathi Hamad, the senior Hamas member who has four wives, three homes and electricity 24 hours a day, and the two million Palestinians have four hours of electricity a day. Does that make sense?” Mordechai added. “These are the priorities of Hamas. What about the people?”

When the BBC Arabic reporter asked Mordechai whether he is claiming that the Hamas leaders have electricity 24 hours a day while the residents have just a few hours because Israel has failed in supplying Gaza with electricity, he said: “No. This is because of Hamas’ priorities. Hamas prefers its interests, the interests of its commanders.”

The reporter stated that the Palestinian Authority has never publicly stated its request from Israel to stop supplying Gaza with electricity and never said that it will no longer pay for the electricity. However, Mordechai told her that he received an official letter from the Palestinian Authority about the matter.