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Hamas in Gaza says it won't be cowed by Abbas' threats


The announcement, informing Israel about the cut in funding, is part of the serious internal confrontation between the Authority and Hamas over controlling the Gaza Strip. In recent years, Gazans have endured rolling power cuts, with electricity now available for only six hours a day.

The move, he added, "comes within the context of the PA's efforts to end internal Palestinian divisions by pressuring Hamas to relinquish [governance of] the Gaza Strip".

Gaza's sole power plant ceased activity after it used up all the Turkish and Qatari fuel which it had been provided with.

The Ramallah government, which, like the Palestinian Authority (PA), is led by Abbas's Fatah movement, is responsible for paying the salaries of some 60,000 PA employees in Gaza and providing health and education services to the strip's roughly 2 million inhabitants.

Mr Abbas has threatened to take "unprecedented" financial steps to force Hamas to cede control in Gaza, a territory it seized from him in 2007.

Representatives of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) started visiting Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails, who have been staging hunger strikes since mid-April, media reported on Wednesday, citing head of the Palestinian Prisoner's Affairs Committee Issa Qaraqea.

Israeli and Trump administration officials are now in "advanced talks" about a visit on May 21, before Trump's scheduled European tour or at the end of the month at the conclusion of that visit, Israel's Channel 2 reported Wednesday. Israel uses administrative detention to imprison Palestinians without having to prove they committed a crime, without allowing them to defend themselves in court against sometimes secret accusations, and can be extended indefinitely.

Gaza needs 400 megawatts of power to ensure full 24-hour supply to its residents, according to Israeli sources.

The PA has also been blamed for Gaza's chronic power shortages.

Bolton also said they would protest outside the Israeli embassy.

The World Bank will present its findings at a May 4 meeting in Brussels of the Ad Hoc Liaison Committee, which co-ordinates global donor support for the Palestinians.

The visit will come shortly after Trump meets with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on May 3 in Washington, D.C. Trump hosted Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the White House in February.