Qatar will send $100 million to Gaza as a part of its 2014 pledge to donate $1 billion to finance the Strip’s reconstruction, senior Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh announced on Saturday.“His highness, Emir [Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani], agreed to deposit $100 million in the Gaza rebuilding fund,” Haniyeh, who met with the emir in Doha last month, said, speaking at a ceremony marking the completion of the second phase of a Qatari-funded housing project in southern Gaza.Following Operation Protective Edge in 2014, Qatar agreed to pay $1b. toward rebuilding Gaza. While the Gulf state has appointed a permanent representative to oversee construction and completed many multi-million- dollar projects, well more than half of the $1b. pledge has yet to be allocated.
The $100m. is slated to cover the costs of constructing a $25m. hospital in Rafah and a variety of other development projects.Haniyeh also said that the emir gave his approval to fund a $30m., three-month deposit to advance the construction of a second power line into Gaza from Israel, which is expected to provide the Strip with an additional 100 megawatts of electricity.Gaza’s current electricity infrastructure has the capacity to provide approximately 225 megawatts to residents, less than half of their needs.Qatar has been one of Hamas’s strongest sponsors, hosting the Islamist movement’s diaspora leadership including Politburo Chairman Khaled Mashaal in Doha.The Gulf state has also sent millions of dollars to Hamas and has bailed it out when the group has fallen into financial difficulties.Most recently, amid popular protests against Hamas’s handling of an electricity crisis in January, Qatar agreed to send $12m. over three months to pay for fuel for Gaza’s sole power plant, situated near the Nuseirat refugee camp.
Qatar donated $12 million of fuel to offset Gaza power shortage (credit: REUTERS)