A senior Hamas member warned on Tuesday that the latest Israeli policy in the Gaza Strip threatens a ceasefire after the unrest between Israel and the Palestinian terrorist groups flared up last month, writes the Times of Israel.
“The Israeli occupation manipulates the fishing zone and stops the fuel supply to the power plants, it jeopardizes the agreement,” Khalil al-Hayya told the Hamas-affiliated Shehab news agency.
Hayya, deputy head of Hamas’ political bureau in Gaza, warned: “the Israeli occupation must not export its internal crises to our people”. Hayya apparently refers to Israel holding elections again in less than six months in September.
His remarks came at the same time as a delegation representing the UN Middle East envoy, Nikolay Mladenov, arrived in Gaza to meet with Hamas leaders both to negotiate an unofficial ceasefire agreement between Israel and the terrorist group, and to look at how further violence can be prevented, Kan-TV station reported.
Can cite named international sources to say that the United Nations has repeatedly warned Hamas that fireballs sent from Gaza against Israel could jeopardize the agreement between the sides.
Earlier Tuesday, Israel announced that fuel supplies to Gaza would be halted following the balloon attacks.
Gaza’s electricity company said the lack of supply resulted in a partial shutdown of Gaza’s sole power plant, causing an “unpredictable” shortage of “an already inadequate supply”. At full capacity, the plant supplies power to Gaza 16 hours a day.
Despite Israel’s reaction, authorities announced on Tuesday that fireballs from the Gaza Strip had caused ten fires in southern Israel. On Monday, the fireballs from Gaza had caused more than twelve fires.
Israel’s halt to fuel supply marks a political shift – in recent weeks, Israel has imposed restrictions on the fishing zone in response to balloon attacks.
Israel has previously cut off fuel supplies to Gaza’s only power station in response to attacks from the Gaza Strip. Israel’s response was met with criticism from the Palestinians and the international community for exacerbating an already serious humanitarian situation.
The restrictions in the fishing zone had also been criticized for punishing fishermen who have no connection to the attacks. Last week, Israel extended the fishing zone to 10 nautical miles after being completely closed for several days.
Tensions with Gaza have risen steadily in recent weeks following the rise of balloon attacks from Gaza. Some of the balloons carried explosive devices that exploded in the air or on the ground in Israeli territory.
Earlier this month, violence escalated again. There were two nights of rocket attacks on Israel and Israeli retaliatory attacks from the air.