On Friday, Hamas hailed the agreement reached between Qatar and Israel to recommence aid payments to thousands of families in the besieged Gaza Strip. The previous day, Israel proclaimed it reached an agreement with Qatar for the Gulf country to resume aid costs, a step aimed at reducing tensions with Hamas, which it had entered into an 11-day war with in May 2021.
“The announcement by our brothers in Qatar about reaching an agreement with the United Nations to bring in part of the Qatari grant is part of an appreciated Qatari effort to ease the siege imposed on the Gaza Strip,” Hamas spokesman Hazem Qassem said.
Qatar has delivered hundreds of millions of dollars to Gaza’s poorest families in recent years.
The funds have been a key source of income for the sieged territory, where unemployment is hovering at around 50 percent.
Since the conflicts in May, Israel had blocked payments, insisting on safeguards that none of the money will reach the Hamas group. Under the system before the war, some $30 million in cash was delivered in suitcases to Gaza each month through an Israeli-controlled crossing.
Israeli Defence Minister Benny Gantz said under the new preparation, funds would be transferred by the United Nations directly to the bank accounts of the families in Gaza.
Israel, he said, would maintain oversight over the list of recipients. The payments are expected to begin in the coming weeks.
“We affirm that our people have the right to have aid in all its forms enter the Gaza Strip,” Qassem said.