Qatari funds transferred to Gaza withdrawn, not paid out to poor families

Clashes between Hamas ruled Gaza Strip and the West Bank lead to a disagreement over the usage of funds.

June 17, 2019 19:19
2 minute read.
Qatari funds transferred to Gaza withdrawn, not paid out to poor families

Fishermen unload their catch at the seaport of Gaza City, after Israel expanded fishing zone for Palestinians April 2, 2019.. (photo credit: SUHAIB SALEM / REUTERS)


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The Qatari funds which Israel transferred to Hamas on Sunday was not passed on to poor families as was intended, according to Gazan media. The instruction was allegedly given by the Welfare Ministry in Ramallah.

The reports said that the delay comes due to the removal of 5,000 families from the list of whom is supposed to be given the money. According to Palestinian sources, a disagreement between the Welfare Ministries in the West Bank and Gaza led to the delay and that "the [Palestinian] Authority believes the families were removed to be replaced by Hamas clerks," insisting that the original list be upheld.

Gaza experienced a great deal of confusion on Monday as conflicting reports stated that the funds, meant for poor families, were deposited on Sunday night in the Postal Bank, but withdrawn on Monday by unknown people. It is unclear now what will happen to the 15 million USD, some saying it might be returned to Qatar.

“That too, they want to take away from us,” a local man in Gaza told Maariv, “I waited a long time to get these 100 USD [the promised sum] to bring home some food.”

“Not only are we shamed by these long waiting hours at the post office but because of internal conflicts we don’t get what we deserve and nobody even bothers speaking with us.”

A Palestinian source said that Welfare Ministry in Ramallah told its clerks to halt their work in Gaza, emphasizing that the Palestinian Authority is attempting to foul up the Qatari efforts with the argument that, by aiding Hamas, they “undermine Palestinian Sovereignty.”

Hamas announced on Monday a “new phase” in its understandings with Israel following Qatari funds delivered to the Gaza Strip on Monday, Maariv reported.

The new steps include financial support of poor families, improvement in water and electric services and plans to improve employment.

Hamas spokesperson Hazam Kasam said that the implementation of these understandings is being carried out as “part of the significant and worthy role Qatar had in the implementations of the understandings.” He also lauded the efforts of Qatari envoy to Gaza, Muhammad al-Emadi.

On Sunday night it was reported that the Qatari funds arrived at the Gaza Postal bank. $100 each were expected to be given to 108,000 poor families on Monday.  

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