Palestinians Attack Qatari Ambassador in Gaza, Hamas Apologizes
Palestinians in Gaza Strip attacked the Qatari ambassador Mohammed al-Emadi after his press conference at Dar al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza to announce the details of the Emiri Qatari grant, and they forced him to leave under direct threat to his life.
Sources told Asharq Al-Awsat that one of the cleaning workers in one of Gaza's hospitals asked Emadi after the conference about the fate of their salaries given that they had not received any payment for the fifth month in a row.
The ambassador told the striking workers, most of them hospital staff, that the Palestinian Authority was the only party authorized to discuss the issue of their unpaid salaries.
He indicated that this is not an issue related to his country, adding: "There are contracts between the employees and the companies with whom they work and there are contracts with the Ministry of Health and it should pay salaries. This has nothing to do with the Qatari grant."
The ambassador's response angered the workers who were hoping to receive help. They threw shoes at the ambassador before he was taken from the premises by security forces.
Sources said that Emadi was not hit directly, but the workers tore pictures of the Emir of Qatar in the place, along with banners thanking Qatar for its financial aid to Gaza.
Officials of the Ministry of Health in Gaza ordered the workers of the cleaning companies to attend the conference of Emadi, carrying the banners and pictures in an attempt to attract more support. The officials were also hoping to resolve the crisis that has been ongoing for more than two weeks, causing an environmental disaster in hospitals as a result of the accumulation of wastes.
Asharq Al-Awsat learned that the ministry's officials and a number of Hamas officially apologized to the Qatari ambassador.