A Palestinian Hamas-hired civil servant displays U.S. Dollar banknotes after receiving her salary paid by Qatar, in Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip December 7, 2018..
(photo credit: IBRAHEEM ABU MUSTAFA/REUTERS)
The third tranche of the Qatari grant to the Gaza Strip will go to humanitarian and infrastructure projects and impoverished families after Hamas refused to receive the money, Qatari envoy Mohammed Al-Emadi announced on Friday.
Al-Emadi, who was speaking during a press conference in the Gaza Strip, said that the projects would be carried out in cooperation with the United Nations.
"The main goal of the Qatari grant is to ease the suffering of the Palestinian people," he said. "Some parties have interpreted the humanitarian aid as 'calm in return for dollars' and this is not true."
In an implicit criticism of Israel, the Qatari diplomat said: "There are other parties that are exploiting the humanitarian aid for the internal elections and to score political points."
On Thursday, Hamas announced its refusal to receive the Qatari grant and accused Israel of exploiting the issue to politically blackmail the Palestinians. "We won't be part of the Israeli election campaign," senior Hamas official Khalil al-Haya said after meeting with Emadi on Thursday. He also vowed that the weekly Friday demonstrations near the border with Israel would continue.
The Qatari envoy said during the press conference on Friday that the Palestinians had the right to stage peaceful demonstrations. He also revealed that he met with Palestinian Authority Minister for Civilian Affairs, Hussein al-Sheikh, and requested that the PA reconsider its decision to withdraw its employees from the Rafah border crossing between the Gaza Strip and Egypt. The PA minister promised to review the issue, Emadi said.
The Qatari envoy also voiced his country's readiness to resume efforts to end the continued power struggle between Hamas and the PA.