Hamas Rejects Qatari Aid over Israeli ‘Political Blackmail’

Hamas has rejected a fresh tranche of Qatari funds, accusing Israel of imposing new conditions on the money entering the blockaded Palestinian territory.

The rejection of the expected $15m on Thursday raised fears of fresh tensions along the fence separating Israel from the besieged Gaza strip, ahead of weekly protests on Friday.

Khalil al-Hayya, Hamas’s deputy head in Gaza, told journalists on Thursday:

Al-Hayya did not mention the specific conditions that were changed but said Israel was playing politics with the funds ahead of upcoming elections.

Under an informal agreement struck in November, Gulf state Qatar has sent $15m a month into the strip.

The payment would have been the third of six planned tranches, totaling $90 million, in connection with the truce.

The funds to pay salaries of Hamas employees and support impoverished residents of Gaza are in exchange for relative calm along the border, where protests have taken place since March 2018.

Israel’s permission is required since the cash must be delivered via its territory.

Mohammed al-Emadi, ambassador of the Gulf state to Gaza, met Hamas officials, including leader Ismail Haniya, in the enclave on Thursday.

Israeli media reported that the country’s security cabinet had approved the funds.

Source: Palestine Chronicle