Palestinians take part in a rally in support of Qatar, inside Qatari-funded construction project 'Hamad City', in the southern Gaza Strip, June 9, 2017.
(photo credit: REUTERS/IBRAHEEM ABU MUSTAFA)
The Palestinian Authority has turned down an offer to transfer Qatari funds to the Gaza Strip through its Ramallah-based government, a senior Hamas official revealed on Wednesday.
Hussam Badran, a member of Hamas’s “political bureau,” said his movement and Qatar had made the offer to the PA.
“No one wanted the Qatari funds to enter the Gaza Strip this way and without the consent of the Palestinian Authority,” Bardan said. Because of the PA’s refusal to transfer the funds through its government, he said, the Egyptians were forced to reach arrangements with the international community that paved the way for the entry of the Qatari money into the Gaza Strip.
The Hamas official said the arrangements call for the partial easing of restrictions imposed on the Gaza Strip without requiring his movement to “pay a political price.”
He also said that Hamas was still keen on ending its dispute with Abbas’s ruling Fatah faction. Hamas, he added, has informed the Egyptians of its readiness to hold general elections in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. “The ball is now in Abbas’s court,” Badran said.
The Hamas official’s remarks came amid reports to the effect that Qatar was set to deliver another cash grant to the Gaza Strip in the coming days. Last month, Qatar delivered a $15-million grant to Hamas after coordinating the move with Israel.
Hamas officials were quoted on Wednesday as saying they have received “positive indications” that the second payment of the Qatari funds will enter the Gaza Strip in the coming days.
The officials told the pan-Arab Al-Araby Al-Jadeed online newspaper that Hamas was not using the Qatari funds for its “military activities.” Hamas says the funds are being used to pay salaries to its employees.
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