Residents of Gaza were outraged at criticism of Hamas’ cross-border tunnels, used mainly for smuggling, by the Palestinian Authority’s official TV channel.
The criticism emerged during a debate on the electricity crisis in Gaza, as the number of hours Gazans are provided with electric power decreased to three per day as opposed to eight.
Earlier this week, several demonstrations took place in Gaza over the increasingly difficult conditions, against the backdrop of a cold spell that struck the Strip.
Hamas has traded blows over the crisis with the Palestinian Authority, which they kicked out of Gaza in 2007. Hamas claims that the PA failed to pay the bills to their Israeli service provider and demanded that the tax on electricity in Gaza be increased, while the PA accuses Hamas of wanting free electricity, and while ordinary citizens bear the brunt of the crisis, Hamas’ tunnel network remains unaffected by the shortage.
The PA’s official TV channel organized a panel discussion on the matter, which was dedicated to placing the blame on Hamas. Supporters of the terror group were outraged, especially by a caption that read, “Gaza in total darkness… and the tunnels are lit.”
In response, Hamas’ supporters launched the hashtag #tunnels_are_our_fortress.
Abu Ubeideh, the spokesman for Hamas’ military wing, tweeted: “Your attempts to smear the resistance and its tunnels will not succeed in influencing our people. These attempts seek to hide [the PA’s] complicity in the siege of Gaza and the attempt to stifle it. The siege is meant originally to undermine the resistance.”
لن تنطلي على شعبنامحاولات اللمزبالمقاومة وأنفاقها للتغطية على جريمةالمشاركةفي حصار غزة وخنقها الذي يستهدف أساسا رأس المقاومة#انفاقنا_قلاعنا
— الناطق العسكري (@Spokespers2016) January 10, 2017
“Even though the siege is painful and even though it’s an era of submission, we declare with pride that #tunnels_are_our_fortress, its towers are our weapons, and Palestine will be liberated with a knife,” the pro-Islamist Lebanese activist Rabih Haddad wrote.
— م. ربيع حداد (@Rabih_S_Haddad) January 10, 2017
Hassan Ajaabari, whose uncle Ahmed, a top Hamas militant, was assassinated by Israel in 2012, wrote: “Hamas’ tunnels light our way towards liberation. These tunnels deserve to be lit not with electricity but with our bodies. You are the enemies of Allah.”
— عاصم حسن الجعبري (@asem160) January 10, 2017
“From there, through the narrow and dark opening, our victory will shine a bright light,” Marwa Mohammad wrote. “All our respect and pride go to the heroes of the dark. Continue to be the crown on our head.”
من هناك..حيث الفتحة الصغيرة المظلمة..سيبزغ شعاع النصر المبين..كل الفخر والإعتزاز لأبطال الظﻻم..دمتم تاجا فوق روؤسنا..
— مروه محمد | غزة (@Marwa6891) January 10, 2017
Ahmad Qanita wrote: “Our mosques are our outposts, their domes are our helmets, our minarets are our bayonets. The tunnels are our fortresses – we’ll continue to light them with our blood!”
— أحمد قنيطة #غزة (@ahmadqanita89) January 10, 2017
“My parents and I are sitting in the dark so that the tunnels of the resistance remain lit,” Iyad Alkurdi wrote. “We don’t need electricity.”
إذا أنا وأهلي قاعدين في ظلام عشان "أنفاق المقاومة" بدناش الكهربا#انفاقنا_قلاعنا
— iyad alkurdi (@iyadalkorde) January 10, 2017