09:13 GMT28 February 2020
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    The Palestinian Hamas movement governing the Gaza Strip is considering the possibility of creating a so-called political vacuum in the area which may replace its civilian rule with military rule in the enclave, the Israeli military reported Thursday.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The Ynet news outlet reported, citing a source in Hamas, that the movement's military wing had recently submitted a plan for the creation of a political and security vacuum to the organization's political leadership.

    According to the media outlet, under the plan, Hamas is to waive its political rule over the Gaza Strip while the Hamas-led security forces will halt their security operations and will only carry out civilian missions. The security vacuum in Gaza will subsequently be filled by Hamas' military wing which will deploy its forces throughout the area, the publication said.

    The outlet added that the move is proposed as a response to the sanctions that the Palestinian Authority has imposed on Gaza, including the halt of diesel fuel supplies to the enclave's power plant, the suspension of payments to Israel for electricity consumed in Gaza and the cessation of salaries by the Palestinian Authority to many officials in Gaza.

    In 2007, a deadly conflict between Fatah, then dominating party in Palestine, and Hamas, led to the split of the Palestinian Authority and Hamas taking over the Gaza Strip. Since then, Israel has maintained a land, sea, and air blockade on the enclave for security purposes. In June, the power blockade was further exacerbated after Israel cut off the electricity supply at the request of the Palestinian Authority, which is trying to take control over Gaza from Hamas.

    Earlier in August, reports emerged that Hamas unveiled a new initiative aimed at reaching reconciliation with the Ramallah-based Fatah. The initiative reportedly envisages Hamas' readiness to dissolve an administrative committee that it established in March and which coordinates the activity of Gaza's public institutions, as soon as the unity government assumes office in the Gaza Strip. Fatah has repeatedly called for committee's dissolution, claiming that it prevents the unity government from operating in the area.


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