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Monday, January 24, 2022

Hamas vows resistance as Israel cracks down on Gaza protesters


Over 40 Palestinians have been wounded by Israeli gunfire at Gaza border protests urging reconstruction of the enclave.

Israeli forces wounded 41 Palestinians with live bullets, including a 13-year-old boy who was shot in the head during protests along Gaza’s border with Israel.

The violence was triggered after hundreds of Palestinians took part in a demonstration on Saturday to draw attention to Israel’s blockade of the seaside territory.

Palestinian groups, led by Gaza ruler Hamas, promised to continue the border protests to send a message to Israel to allow the reconstruction of Gaza.

“The Zionist occupation underestimated the situation and ignored the protesters’ demands,” a Hamas official told Doha News.

“It proceeded to fire live bullets at them. The norm here between the (Israeli) occupation and those who live under it is to constantly clash, and there will always be resistance to the occupation,” a Hamas official told Doha News.

The violence comes months after Israel launched a deadly offensive on the besieged enclave that killed more than 200 Palestinians and decimated much of its infrastructure.

Since an Egypt-Qatar brokered ceasefire, Israel has blocked essential Qatari aid from reaching the Strip, leaving millions of Gazans in worsening conditions.

However, Hamas member, Mousa Mohammed Abu Marzook said progress was made last week.

“Qatar had to reach an agreement with the UN over the entry of monetary aid to Gaza in exchange for a small percentage to the intergovernmental organisation for “administrative service”, Abu Marzook said.

“Qatar did not change its policies towards the grant nor its disbursement and it continues to abide by its commitments and refused any changes. However [Qatar] had to reach an agreement with the UN following conditions placed by the US and Israel,” he added.

Earlier this year, Qatar pledged $30 million to the Gaza strip as part of the country’s efforts to support Palestinians suffering under occupation. Separately, the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani also donated $500 million to help with reconstruction projects after the May bombardment.

Read also: Qatar’s FM discusses Palestine, Afghanistan during Jordan visit

Of the $30million, $10 million is expected to go towards gas supplies to power Gaza’s only power station, another $10 million for Palestinian families, with each receiving $100 every month, while the remaining $10 million has been allocated for temporary jobs to support those who are unemployed.

Fuel shipments only entered Gaza in July, though the monetary aid was prevented from reaching the besieged city.

With the change in Israeli administrations, from Benjamin Netanyahu’s to Naftali Bennett’s, Tel Aviv has presented more hurdles on the aid mechanisms over concerns funds would go towards Hamas.

Instead of delivering the money through suitcases, all of which were Israel presented a list of strategies which were rejected. Among those mechanisms were transferring aid through a NGO or the Palestinian Authority [PA].

Israeli Defence Minister Benny Gantz announced on Thursday that it approved the Qatar-UN deal and said the money will reach Palestinians soon, without mentioning a specific date.

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