Israel restores power to Gaza after Palestinians promise to pay the bills

Posted January 14, 2018

Speaking with Sputnik Radio's Loud & Clear about Trump's threat to axe funding to the Palestinians, cofounder of The Electronic Intifada, Ali Abumimah, said it would be important to determine whether the funding cuts would hit UNRWA or the Palestinian Authority.

In the 22-minute, undated video, titled "Community of Abraham", IS accuses Hamas of attempting to ease tensions with the West, and encourages its followers to attack Hamas targets across Gaza.

"It also fights supporters of the Islamic State in Gaza and the Sinai and prevents the migration of these supporters from Gaza to the Sinai", said a speaker in the video, who is referred to as Abu Kazem al-Maqdisi, an Islamic State preacher in the Sinai, originally from Gaza.

The Islamic State likely lacks the reach into Gaza to launch a large-scale attack, but it could encourage its supporters to launch more rockets into Israel, knowing that Israel's military will respond against Hamas, which it holds responsible for all military aggression from Gaza, Mohannad Sabry, the author of "Sinai: Egypt's Linchpin, Gaza's Lifeline, Israel's Nightmare", said.

There was no immediate word from Israel whether it would comply. It followed three mortars fired from Gaza at Israel the previous day.

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.

But both groups have failed to finalise details of the deal, which had been due to be completed on 1 December 2017. On the other hand, in the West Bank, the occupation forces conducted 170 search operations and arrested 214 Palestinians, including at least 18 children, according to the OCHA report.

President Trump said on Tuesday he would withhold money from the Palestinians, accusing them of being no longer willing to talk peace with Israel.

The IS video begins with a clip of U.S. President Donald Trump's announcement last month that the U.S. will recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital. An Israeli military spokeswoman said it is investigating whether the teen was holding a firearm, a claim witnesses and medics deny.