Qatari Envoy Says Israel and Hamas Both Want Calm

GAZA CITY (AP) -
Qatar Israel
Matthias Schmale, UNRWA’s director in Gaza, left, shakes hands with the Qatari envoy, Mohammed Al-Emadi, during a press conference at the Shifa hospital in Gaza City, Gaza, Monday. (AP Photo/Khalil Hamra)

A Qatari envoy said Monday that both Israel and Hamas want to contain cross-border violence that has flared in recent days, as he detailed a new emergency fund to aid the blockaded territory.

Earlier Monday, the IDF struck an underground terror infrastructure site in Gaza in response to rocket fire. The military has struck various targets in Gaza in recent days and killed two Palestinians who tried to infiltrate Israel after a bomb on the border wounded four Israeli soldiers.

There were no reports of casualties from the latest strike.

“We confirm through our relationship with the two sides that they are not interested in escalation or engaging in a confrontation that could ignite the entire region,” the Qatari envoy, Mohammed al-Emadi, told reporters in Gaza City.

Al-Emadi, whose country maintains contacts with Hamas and has hosted its leaders, coordinates Qatar’s relief and reconstruction projects in Gaza. On Monday, he announced details of a $9 million emergency fund for addressing fuel and medicine shortages.

The Qatari grant includes $2 million in medical supplies and $500,000 for fuel to power backup generators in Gaza’s public health centers, enough to keep them running for a month.

Trucks loaded with the supplies and decorated with Qatari flags and posters of the oil-rich sheikhdom’s rulers could be seen outside Gaza City’s main Shifa hospital on Monday, where al-Emadi and U.N. officials spoke.

Hospital cleaning workers demonstrated their support during the ceremony, holding signs reading “Thank you, Qatar.” They have been on a strike for 10 days, demanding payment from the Hamas-run Health Ministry. Hamas and Abbas’ Palestinian Authority are locked in a dispute over who is responsible for paying them.