Qatari Official to Distribute Cash in Gaza

Palestinian demonstrators at the Israel-Gaza border fence during a protest, Friday. (Reuters/Mohammed Salem)

Qatar will not be giving Hamas $15 million this month, after Israel last month expressed opposition to the continued payments to the terror group, which distributes the Qatari cash to the families of terrorists – but the Gulf principality will still be giving out money to Gazans, directly by hand. Qatari official Muhammad al-Amadi entered Gaza on Sunday, carrying with him $5.5 million in cash – which he will be giving out to Gazans Monday.

Described as “humanitarian aid,” the Qatari official will give pre-screened families $100 each in financial assistance. The list of eligible families was put together by Hamas and Qatari officials. Distribution will take place at Gaza post offices Monday. “The payments here are purely humanitarian in nature,” al-Amadi said in an interview in Arab media Sunday. “Some have tried to describe it as payoffs to prevent rioting, and others said that it was some sort of election campaign tactic. Both are incorrect.”

Last month, Israel expressed opposition to the cash transfers by Qatar to Hamas, but eventually backpedaled – but at that point Hamas refused to accept the transfers. “We do not intend to turn Gaza into a staging area for the Israeli election,” Hamas said in a statement. “We discussed several issues with al-Amadi, and he understood why we did not want to accept the payments based on the conditions Israel set. We will continue our protests until we receive all our rights,” the terror group said.

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