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Hamas Refuses Qatar’s Aid Against Israeli Conditions

DOHA – Gaza’s leaders Hamas have rejected a new tranche of Qatar funds, accusing Israel of imposing new conditions on money entering the blockaded Palestinian territory, Al Jazeera reported Friday.
The rejection of the $15 million expected Thursday has raised fears of new tensions along the border between Gaza and Israel, ahead of Friday’s protests.
“We deny to accept the Qatari funds, and attempts to evade the agreement,” Khalil al-Hayya, deputy Hamas leader in Gaza, told reporters on Thursday.
Al-Hayya did not mention the specific conditions that were changed but said that Israel was doing politics with funds before the next elections.
Under an informal agreement reached in November, Qatar, Gulf State, sent $15 million a month into the Strip.
The payment would have been the third of the six installments, totaling $90 million, under the truce.
Funds to pay the salaries of Hamas employees and support poor residents of Gaza are a relative calm along the border, with protests taking place since March 2018.
Israel’s permission is required because the money must be returned via its territory.
Charles Stratford, a member of Al Jazeera, said: “This reference to political blackmail, as Hamas calls it, takes place during the election period in Israel.”
“Hamas refuses to accept these conditions because Israel demands that, if these funds are paid, the demonstrations must stop.”
The payment was due to come in this week, but Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu blocked it on Tuesday after two gunshot incidents on the Gaza border, including one in which one soldier was wounded.
“Netanyahu can not be seen as gentle with Hamas, but at the same time does not want another war before the elections,” Stratford added.
Mohammed al-Emadi, the Gulf State’s ambassador to Gaza, met with Hamas leaders, including leader Ismail Haniya, in the enclave on Thursday.
(Sahar News Monitoring Desk)

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