A man rides his bicycle past young members of Hamas during an anti-Israel march on the first anniversary of Israel's Operation Pillar of Defence on November 8, 2013 in the al-Nuseirat refugee camp, in central Gaza Strip
A man rides his bicycle past young members of Hamas during an anti-Israel march on the first anniversary of Israel's Operation Pillar of Defence on November 8, 2013 in the al-Nuseirat refugee camp, in central Gaza Strip. © Mohammed Abed - AFP/File
A man rides his bicycle past young members of Hamas during an anti-Israel march on the first anniversary of Israel's Operation Pillar of Defence on November 8, 2013 in the al-Nuseirat refugee camp, in central Gaza Strip
AFP
Last updated: November 29, 2013

Hamas skips anniversary events due to Gaza fuel crisis

The Islamist movement Hamas, which rules the Gaza Strip, announced Friday it has called off events in December to mark its 26th anniversary because of the Palestinian territory's fuel crisis.

"Given the siege conditions, Hamas has decided to call off festivities for its 26th anniversary and to use the funds instead for services to ease people's hardships," a statement said.

However, a Hamas spokesman, Ashraf Abu Zayed, told AFP some small-scale activities would be held in Gaza on the December 14 anniversary.

The fuel crisis has led to daily power outages of up to 16 hours. Hospitals, water and sanitation plants, businesses and private homes have all been hit.

On Thursday, the United Nations began distributing fuel in Gaza to keep critical infrastructure running.

Hamas has blamed the power outage on Egypt's destruction of cross-border tunnels used for bringing fuel into the Israeli-blockaded enclave.

It also accuses the Western-backed Palestinian Authority of charging inflated prices for fuel.

The group was founded in 1987, shortly after the outbreak of a first anti-Israeli intifada, or uprising.

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