GAZA (Reuters) – A $15 million Qatari cash infusion was paid out to impoverished Palestinian civil servants in Gaza on Friday, offering Hamas a potential domestic reprieve though Israel said the money would not go to the enclave’s dominant Islamist group.
Hamas’s political rival based in the West Bank, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, has slashed Gaza budgets, beggaring tens of thousands of government employees. That has helped stoke a half-year of bloody protests and occasional shelling exchanges across the border of Gaza, which Israel keeps under blockade.
Sources - Qatari - Payout - Thursday - Total
Palestinian sources said the Qatari payout, received on Thursday, was the first of a total of $90 million that would come into the Gaza Strip over the next six months with Israeli approval.
Israel had previously agreed to the gas-rich Gulf Arab state donating money only for approved civilian construction projects or fuel in Gaza, worried that more fungible cash donations could reach Hamas, with whom Israel has fought three wars in a decade.
Day - Money - Food - Medicine - Children
“One day, I have no money to get food or medicine for my children – and now I will buy them food, medicine and clothes,” said Wael Abu Assi, a traffic policeman, outside a Gaza City post office where people queued to draw their salaries.
“I am happy and will make my children happy.”
Group - West - Hamas - Years - Embargo
Branded a terrorist group in the West, Hamas has been under years of embargo by Israel and neighboring Egypt. Hamas authorities tax Gazans and its leaders said in the past they had received funds from other countries including Iran.
Observers for Qatar were present at all 12 post offices across Gaza, a coastal enclave, on Friday to monitor the salary distribution process. Employees had to present a copy of their identity card and be finger-printed.
Qatar - News - Agency - Gulf - State
Qatar’s official news agency said the wealthy Gulf state’s donation would benefit 27,000 civil servants. “The salaries for...
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