Israel has declared the Hamas-led Gaza strip an “enemy entity”, opening the way to tighter sanctions and a possible military incursion. Hamas has called the move a “declaration of war”, and says it will lead to reduced fuel and electricity supplies, and restrict Gazan exports. Israel says it is a response to continuing cross-border rocket attacks, but Hamas insists it goes further. “This occupation wants to put more and more pressure on Hamas, on Gaza, in order to destroy the infrastructure of establishment of security, establishment of freedom, and they want to destroy Palestinian’s daily lives”, said a spokesperson.
Although Israel withdrew from Gaza in 2005 Hamas says the occupation continues because Israel controls Gaza’s borders, airspace, and coastline. Although Fatah blames its rival Hamas for the situation in Gaza, the Palestinian Authority’s Information Minister urges caution. “We are going to ask Israel to refrain from taking any option: We are going to ask the Americans to pressure Israel to refrain from taking action, we are going ask the international community to do something about it”.
Gaza needs 200 megawatts of electricity a day, 120 of which come through Israeli power lines. Its own power station produces 65 megawatts, but it is dependent on Israeli fuel supplies.