The Gulf state of Qatar has donated hundreds of millions of dollars to Gaza since 2014. UN says new funding amounts to $ 40m.
Qatar has resumed distributing aid to the besieged Gaza Strip for the first time since an escalation of violence in May between Israel and Hamas, the Palestinian group that controls the area.
The official news agency of the Hamas government said the money is being paid out by supermarkets, money changers and other retail stores in a process that will continue in the coming days. The office of Qatar’s envoy to Gaza, Mohammed el-Amadi, confirmed on Wednesday that payments had resumed. The UN said the funding was $ 40 million.
The Youmna al-Sayed of Al Jazeera, reported from Gaza, said the aid would be provided in amounts of 320 shekels (about $ 100) and “not in dollars as before”.
Qatar has donated hundreds of millions of dollars to Gaza since Israel’s attack on the Gaza Strip in 2014.
Prior to the most recent escalation in violence between Israel and Hamas, Qatari diplomats provided millions of dollars in cash by carrying suitcases through the Beit Hanoun border crossing, also called Israel the Erez, which controls the crossing. The policy has caused controversy in Israel, with critics grabbing the optics and accusing the government of bowing to Hamas pressure.
Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett has vowed to end such deliveries since becoming prime minister in June.
Qatar aid has previously gone to thousands of poor families and paid the salaries of civil servants in the Gaza government. Aid to the families has been resumed, but there is still no agreement on the aid for Hamas’ payroll.
In the wake of the renewed fighting between Israel and Hamas in May, the United States has promised to work with the internationally recognized Palestinian Authority to rebuild Gaza. But the PA, which manages some parts of the Israeli-occupied West Bank, withdrew from the aid agreement.
As a result, the UN announced on Monday that the Qatari funds would be distributed through the same mechanism used by its agencies in the region.