Israel Approves $50-million Qatari Transfer to Gaza, Lebanese Report Says

According to Al Akhbar report, move comes after recent talks with Hamas mediated by UN envoy and Qatar, as Gaza factions weigh renewing border protest

Jack Khoury
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A Palestinian Health Ministry officer stands at the gate of the Erez crossing with Israel, March 2020.
A Palestinian Health Ministry officer stands at the gate of the Erez crossing with Israel, March 2020.Credit: Mahmud Hams / AFP
Jack Khoury

Israel has approved the transfer of $50 million from Qatar to the Gaza Strip, Lebanese newspaper Al Akhbar reported on Monday.

According to the report, the decision to approve the transfer followed recent talks with Hamas, mediated by United Nations Mideast envoy Nickolay Mladenov and Qatari envoy Mohammed Al-Emadi.

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The Qatari envoy has confirmed that there are negotiations to deliver the money to Gaza this or next week, and has told media outlets in Gaza that the coronavirus pandemic was responsible for the holdup, not Israel.

Al Akhbar, which is linked to Hezbollah and Iran, further reported that the money would be delivered in two infusions to assist Qatari projects in the Strip, mostly infrastructure and the electric grid, and for needy families.

Meanwhile, the organizing committee for the Palestinian "March of Return" protests at the Gaza border is expected to discuss the resumption of launching explosive-laden balloons into Israel, as well as protests along the border and nighttime activity, after formally halting these in December.

According to sources in the committee – in which all Gaza’s militant factions are represented, including Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad – balloons launched into Israel this week were the work of youths trying to pressure the factions to resume activity along the border fence.

Committee member Talal Abu Zarifa has told Haaretz that a decision has yet to be made on resuming protests, and that all options are on the table.

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