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Thursday, October 28, 2021

Qatar begins distributing financial aid to families in Gaza

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The cash funding scheme to Gaza was tweaked and revised following the Palestinian Authority’s withdrawal from the process.

Qatar’s envoy to Gaza confirmed the start of distribution of financial aid in the besieged strip on Thursday, an official source announced. 

Mohammed Al-Emadi confirmed the aid will be distributed to around 95,000 families in the besieged enclave by the Qatar Committee for the Reconstruction of the Gaza Strip and in cooperation with Qatar Fund for Development.

Al-Emadi said each family in need will receive $100 per month, according to the committee’s official website. 

The United Nations, under the supervision of Israel, is set to lead the aid distribution process, as it has specified distribution centres for families in need. 

The envoy confirmed that over 300 centres and shops have been dedicated for aid distribution by Qatari organisations involved in the procedure.

The occupying state is set to oversee the list of eligible aid recipients.

Previously, Qatar was also due to provide assistance to civil servants in an agreement with Palestinian banks under the jurisdiction of the PA.

However, in September the Palestinian Authority (PA) withdrew from the agreement over concerns that its involvement could expose it to legal issues.

Read also: PA withdraws from Qatar funding scheme for Gaza over ‘legal concerns’

Under the memorandum of understanding signed between the Qatari Gaza Reconstruction Committee and the UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Tor Wennesland, the Gulf state pledged to allocate $40 million to support thousands of families under the Israeli occupation.

The funding scheme for Gazans is supported by Israel, which had for months blocked the essential assistance from reaching the Strip. 

Previously, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said Israel would ensure money would reach those in need while bypassing Hamas. Israeli officials were seeking to find a mechanism that would distribute cash to civil servants without funding Hamas, according to Bennett’s office.

Banks feared sanctions by global actors over accusations of engaging in funding terrorism. 

Israel has imposed obstacles on the aid reaching the strip since May, when it launched a deadly 11-day offensive that killed more than 200 Palestinians including dozens of children.

Doha has taken responsibility for the rebuilding of the Gaza enclave since the 2014 onslaught. Having already pumped over $1 billion into Gaza projects since the conflict, the Gulf state pledged another $500 million in late May.

Israel and Egypt have held Gaza under a 16-year siege.

More than 2 million Palestinians live in dire conditions due to the Israeli blockade on the strip, described as the world’s largest open air prison.


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