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Analysis

PA fumes at Qatar accusation it doesn’t care about Gaza energy crisis

Rejecting accusations from Qatari envoy, Fatah says it is completely committed to Gazans’ well-being

Avi Issacharoff

Avi Issacharoff, The Times of Israel's Middle East analyst, fills the same role for Walla, the leading portal in Israel. He is also a guest commentator on many different radio shows and current affairs programs on television. Until 2012, he was a reporter and commentator on Arab affairs for the Haaretz newspaper. He also lectures on modern Palestinian history at Tel Aviv University, and is currently writing a script for an action-drama series for the Israeli satellite Television "YES." Born in Jerusalem, he graduated cum laude from Ben Gurion University with a B.A. in Middle Eastern studies and then earned his M.A. from Tel Aviv University on the same subject, also cum laude. A fluent Arabic speaker, Avi was the Middle East Affairs correspondent for Israeli Public Radio covering the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the war in Iraq and the Arab countries between the years 2003-2006. Avi directed and edited short documentary films on Israeli television programs dealing with the Middle East. In 2002 he won the "best reporter" award for the "Israel Radio” for his coverage of the second intifada. In 2004, together with Amos Harel, he wrote "The Seventh War - How we won and why we lost the war with the Palestinians." A year later the book won an award from the Institute for Strategic Studies for containing the best research on security affairs in Israel. In 2008, Issacharoff and Harel published their second book, entitled "34 Days - The Story of the Second Lebanon War," which won the same prize.

Qatar's Gaza envoy Mohammad al-Amadi addresses a ceremony in Gaza City in honor of the construction of the new city of Hamad on January 16, 2017. (Screen capture/YouTube)
Qatar's Gaza envoy Mohammad al-Amadi addresses a ceremony in Gaza City in honor of the construction of the new city of Hamad on January 16, 2017. (Screen capture/YouTube)

The Palestinian Authority angrily denied an accusation from Qatar’s special envoy to the Gaza Strip that it is not doing its best to solve an electricity crisis in Hamas-ruled Gaza.

PA President Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah party on Sunday night condemned Qatari official Muhammad al-Amadi for the allegation, which he made in an interview with The Times of Israel. (The interview also appeared in Hebrew on the Walla news site.)

The Fatah statement said that while the group welcomes contributions or donations from the likes of Qatar and Turkey for the benefit of Gaza, it totally rejects accusations that the PA is not committed to the residents of the Strip.

On Sunday night Amadi met with Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah to discuss a plan to end the Gaza energy crisis.

Before that meeting, Amadi had said in an unprecedented interview that while Israel has agreed to play its part in such a deal, the Palestinian Authority has been delaying it.

Palestinians chant slogans during a protest against the ongoing electricity crisis in Jabalia refugee camp in the northern Gaza Strip, January 12, 2017. (AFP/MOHAMMED ABED)
Palestinians chant slogans during a protest against the ongoing electricity crisis in Jabalia refugee camp in the northern Gaza Strip, January 12, 2017. (AFP/MOHAMMED ABED)

In response, Fatah sources told The Times of Israel said there are some, including Qatar, who are interested in preserving the internal Palestinian rift, a reference to the stormy and sometimes violent relationship between Hamas and Fatah.

Those entities are trying to arrange a “popular summit” in Istanbul without coordinating with the Palestine Liberation Organization, the official representative of the Palestinian people, the sources added.

Amadi, who heads the National Committee for the Reconstruction of Gaza, has long been shuttling between Doha, Israel, and the Gaza Strip. He is the Qatar royal family’s official envoy in charge of the Gaza reconstruction, and has the title of ambassador.

In his role, Amadi has succeeded in resolving a variety of crises, including a recent spate of power cuts that sparked stormy demonstrations against Hamas across the Strip.

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