Qatar delivers more cash to Gaza as part of truce understandings

Haniyeh: We’ll accept Palestinian state on ’67 borders, but without recognizing Israel.

Hamas Chief Ismail Haniyeh gestures as he speaks during a rally marking the 31st anniversary of Hamas' founding, in Gaza City December 16, 2018 (photo credit: IBRAHEEM ABU MUSTAFA/REUTERS)
Hamas Chief Ismail Haniyeh gestures as he speaks during a rally marking the 31st anniversary of Hamas' founding, in Gaza City December 16, 2018
Qatar on Saturday delivered another cash grant to the Gaza Strip, paving the way for the distribution of payments to Palestinian families, sources in the Gaza Strip said.
Some 60,000 families will benefit from the latest Qatari funds, the Qatari Committee for the Reconstruction of the Gaza Strip said on Saturday.
The committee said that each family will receive $100 on Sunday. The money will be distributed through the local post office in the Gaza Strip. The committee did not provide further details, particularly concerning the amount of cash that was delivered to the Gaza Strip.
The sources said that the Qatari grant was delivered thanks to mediation efforts made by Egypt and the United Nations in the past few days.
The efforts, the sources said, were in the context of attempts to solidify truce understandings reached between Israel and Hamas earlier this year.
Last week, Egyptian intelligence officials held talks in Israel and the Gaza Strip on ways of preserving the understandings and averting an all-out military confrontation between Hamas and Israel.
According to the sources, the Egyptian officials managed to persuade Israel to take additional measures to ease restrictions imposed on the Gaza Strip. The measures include, among other things, the expansion of the fishing zone in the Gaza Strip, increasing the number of work permits in Israel for Palestinian laborers and businessmen and allowing Qatar to deliver more funds to the Hamas-ruled coastal enclave, the sources said.
The Egyptian intelligence officials’ visit came after Hamas and other Gaza-based terror groups accused Israel of foot-dragging with regard to the implementation of the truce understandings. Hamas and Islamic Jihad officials claimed that Israel was “deliberately procrastinating” the implementation of the understandings and threatened to walk out of the unwritten truce agreement.
Meanwhile, Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh revealed that a senior delegation from his movement was expected to arrive in Tehran on Saturday for talks with Iranian leaders.
Haniyeh, who was speaking to Turkish journalists in Istanbul through video conference, expressed hope that the Hamas delegation’s visit to Iran will “achieve important results.” He did not provide additional details.
A Hamas official in the Gaza Strip said that his movement was currently seeking to improve its relations with Iran and restore its ties with Syria.
Relations between Hamas and Syria and Iran were strained after the Gaza-based movement refused to publicly support Syrian President Bashar Assad in the civil war that began in 2011.
The Syrians responded by expelling Hamas leaders and closing their offices. Iran, for its part, is said to have reduced financial and military aid to Hamas because of its refusal to take sides in the civil war.
In the interview with the Turkish journalists, Haniyeh said that Hamas was keen on restoring its relations with Syria. “We haven’t meddled in the internal affairs of Syria in the past, and we have no intention to do so in the future,” the Hamas leader said. “We hope to see Syria strong again.”
Haniyeh said that Hamas was not opposed to the establishment of a Palestinian state “on the 1967 borders.” He added, however, that would not mean that Hamas recognizes Israel.
“We are committed to not recognizing the occupation on the rest of the Palestinian territories,” he said, referring to Israel.