60,000 Gazan Families to Begin Receiving $100 a Month, Qatari Envoy Says

Some in Gaza say Israel is trying to dictate criteria to choose which families receive assistance in order to prevent border protesters from benefiting

A power plant in the central Gaza Strip, June 18, 2019
IBRAHEEM ABU MUSTAFA/Reuters

Sixty thousand families in the Gaza Strip will begin receiving $100 a month in humanitarian assistance on Thursday, Qatar's envoy to Gaza announced on Wednesday.

According to envoy Mohammed al-Amadi, $4 million have been earmarked for the assistance, which is to last for six months, and another $4 million for economic projects in Gaza.

Amadi further said that the list of families who will receive assistance will be published by Gaza's Social Affairs Ministry and that the families will collect funds at post offices.

There has been criticism in Gaza over the decrease in the number of families on the list of those requiring assistance. Talal Abu Zarifa, a member of the committee organizing the March of Return border protests, claimed that Israel is trying to dictate new criteria to decide which families are on the list with the goal of barring those who have participated in the demonstrations.

Israel is blatantly and unacceptably intervening in the matter, he said.

Meanwhile, Hamas' Finance Ministry has announced on Thursday it will pay part of March's wages for thousands of its employees. It said the payment would equal 40 percent of the wages, but would be no less than 1,200 shekels ($333) and no more than 2,000 ($556).

It is unclear at this stage whether the payments are the result of direct Qatari assistance or of money Hamas will allocate from taxes in Gaza.

On Tuesday, Israel reopened the approved fishing zone off Gaza's coast, a week after a maritime blockade was announced over airborne firebombs launched from the enclave that ignited eight fires in Israel's south.