Benjamin Netanyahu says does not want `escalation` in Gaza

"They [Hamas] receive support from Qatar and have received aid from other countries in the past, but they usually choose to put the funds towards building up infrastructure towards terrorism", Erdan said.

Israel's power plant, which supplies 125 MGW, or 30 percent of the total electricity needs of the Gaza Strip, will scale back to at least 40 percent.

At a meeting devoted to the electricity crisis in Gaza, following the Palestinian Authority's (PA) decision to cut its payments for electricity for the Gaza Strip, which is controlled by its rival Hamas, the ministers accepted the IDF's recommendation to reduce the amount of power that Israel provides to the territory.

"The decision of the occupation to reduce the electricity to Gaza at the request of PA President Mahmoud Abbas is catastrophic and risky".

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Last month, the Palestinian Authority informed Israel that it would cover only 70 percent of the monthly cost of electricity supplied by the Israel Electric Corporation to the Gaza Strip.

Following several Arab countries' decisions to cut ties with Qatar in June, partly driven by Qatar "supporting terrorist groups", Hamas may lose some of Qatar's support.

In May, 2010, Israeli commandos stormed the Turkish Mavi Marmara ship, part of a blockade-busting flotilla bound for Gaza. "This means that the Gaza Strip is completely dependent on electricity from Israel", he added.

In his letter to UNSC President Sacha Sergio Llorenty Soliz on Friday, Danon said that Hamas had built a tunnel beneath two adjacent schools of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) in the Gaza Strip.

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Israeli officials say that the government fears an outbreak of fighting with Hamas in the coming weeks and that Hamas has been diverting equipment and money flowing to Gaza to finance a military buildup.

Israeli generals have said that the power cuts could lead to a military escalation between Hamas and Israel. "We renew the call to the Hamas movement and the de facto government there to hand over to us all responsibilities of government institutions in Gaza so that the government can provide its best services to our people in Gaza", he said. Though Israeli politicians have argued for changing policy toward UNRWA, Netanyahu appears to have finally done so.

In addition, Farawaneh said that many families of the missing have not reached out to the ICRC or other human rights organizations for help, out of fear that Israel might retaliate against them for their missing relative's participation in resistance against Israeli forces.

According to Asharq al-Awsat, the demands were presented by Egyptian security officials to the head of Hamas' political bureau in Gaza, Yahya Sinwar, during his nine-day trip to Cairo that ended yesterday.

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Since seizing power in Gaza in 2007, Hamas has used these tunnels into both Egypt and Israel as smuggling routes, weapons storage sites and launch pads for attacks inside Israeli territory.

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