Last Wednesday afternoon, Egypt sent 22 tanker trucks into Gaza loaded with diesel fuel from Sinai. A Washington Post article titled: "There's a real power struggle going on in the Gaza strip", said that 11 more trucks were scheduled to come in last Thursday. The fuel was meant to run turbines in a power station that has been off line since April. Despite the effort, the fuel will only run the station for a few days. The West Bank is seeing a literal power struggle with Gaza which is run by the militant Hamas group and the conflicts between the two seem to be pulling in surrounding governments.

Mahmoud Abbas 'upstaged' by Egypt

The coastal enclave is under a "partial" trade and travel blockade that is under the control of the Egyptian and Israeli government. Rather than the conflict being between Israel and the Palestinians, the conflict is instigated from within. The Palestinian Authority of the West Bank (PA) is currently in a political tug-of-war with the militant Hamas government which won the election in 2007 to govern over Gaza over the head of the PA Mahmoud Abbas.

The power station is the only facility that provides electricity to Gaza but Hamas refuses to purchase heavily-taxed fuel from the PA which resulted in shutting down the power plant. The electricity now comes from Israel and is paid for by Mahmoud Abbas but, as a result, Abbas told the Israeli government back in April that he would no longer pay for their electricity as well.

The fact that Egypt stepped in to help Gaza has apparently upset Abbas who was hoping that his decision to pressure Hamas would make him look strong before meeting a potentially supportive U.S. President Trump back in May.

Egypt a friend to Hamas?

It was reported that on Wednesday -- though Abbas did not reveal his frustration with Egypt publicly -- that, according to his aides; he threatened to take measures against Hamas if the gates to the power plant were opened for the Egyptian government to bring fuel to their power plant and were reportedly also angry at Egypt.

But a senior member of Hamas, Ghazi Hamad, said that they were able to get a local court order to immediately accept Egyptian fuel and that shipments would continue throughout the week. It's also been reported that Egypt would assist Hamas in exchange for turning over 17 wanted men.

Last week, however, Israel's Energy Minister said that the Israeli government should not allow Abbas to dictate to them whether they should provide electricity to Gaza or not and said that the Israeli government should continue to supply it.

It's been reported that every month the PA continued to receive financial funding from Abbas every month but has threatened to cancel the funding if they accepted Egyptian fuel. Relations between Hamas and Egypt have recently cooled, with the Egyptian government reportedly hosting Hamas delegates last month. It was also reported that both Gaza and Egypt were able to negotiate some deal to accept fuel during those meetings. It is currently unknown if Egypt will continue to provide fuel to Gaza for the long term.