#Qatar to distribute #Gaza aid in ‘coordination with #UN’

The Qatari ambassador to the Gaza Strip said that his country would now channel millions of dollars in humanitarian projects ‘in full coordination with the United Nations’.

The New Arab & agencies

Qatar said Friday it will adopt a new formula for aid to Gaza after the besieged Palestinian enclave’s rulers Hamas rejected a cash injection over alleged unacceptable Israeli conditions.

The Qatari ambassador to the Gaza Strip, Mohammed al-Emadi, said that his country would now channel millions of dollars in humanitarian projects “in full coordination with the United Nations”.

A first package of agreements, worth $20 million, will be signed with the UN on Monday, he told reporters in Gaza City.

Details of the scheme are so far unclear and there was no immediate comment from the UN.

Under an informal agreement struck in November, $90 million in Qatari aid was to have been transferred in six monthly instalments to Hamas.

Two $15 million payments have so far been delivered to Hamas but a third, which was due this week, was blocked by Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.

The Israeli leader took the decision after two shooting incidents along the Gaza-Israel border, including one in which a soldier was lightly injured by Palestinian fire.

A Hamas fighter was killed by Israeli tank shell in response to the incident.

Israel’s permission is required since the cash must be delivered via its territory.

The authorities eventually relented and gave the go-ahead for the delayed transfer.

But Hamas announced on Thursday it would not accept it, charging Israel with adding conditions not covered by the November agreement and playing politics with the aid ahead of April elections.

After months of violence, Israel and Hamas agreed an Egyptian-brokered ceasefire in November.

Under the deal Qatar was to pay salaries of civil servants and help impoverished Gazans in exchange for relative calm along the border.

In 2018, more than 250 Palestinians were killed by Israeli forces in Gaza and over 23,000 were injured.

Gaza border tensions have soared since the 30 March start of what Palestinians call the “Great Return March”, a mass protest movement demanding the right for Palestinians to return to homes they fled or were expelled from during the war surrounding Israel’s creation

The protests also call for the lifting of a crippling decade-long Israeli and Egyptian blockade.