Palestinian officials accused Qatar of funding the Gaza Strip separatist agenda, supporting Hamas in an attempt to sabotage Egyptian efforts to achieve intra-Palestinian reconciliation.
A member of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), Ahmed Majdalani, slammed Qatari Ambassador to Gaza Mohammed Al-Emadi for smuggling funds to Hamas-ruled Gaza without the Palestinian Authority’s approval.
Majdalani told Asharq Al-Awsat that Al-Emadi, in agreement with Israel and Hamas, “used illicit means to transfer money in bags to Gaza, widening divisions among Palestinians and sabotaging Egyptian efforts to achieve reconciliation.”
- A Cheap Price For Blood
Al Emadi transferred some $ 15 million in bags to Gaza,
The ambassador is said to have arranged for moving $15 million in bags into Gaza through Israel, which was described by the official Palestinian news agency (WAFA) as “a cheap price” for Gaza residents being exploited by Hamas leadership hoping to advance US-Zionist plots for separating the Gaza Strip from the West Bank.
The money, with Israeli agreement, was transferred in three suitcases and entered through the Erez Crossing in the northern Gaza Strip.
“We will continue efforts for countering US-Israeli conspiracies and plots aimed at separating Gaza from the West Bank, hoping to eventually isolate the West Bank and Jerusalem,” the PA said in a statement published on Wafa.
The $15 million represents the first installment of $90 million Qatar has allocated to pay the money of Hamas-employed civil servants. Israel agreed to Qatar funding Hamas, so long all the names receiving payments get vetted by Israeli security checks.
- Deprived Employees
Israel had objected to over 2,000 names of Hamas employees getting paid with the Qatari money, sources told Asharq Al-Awsat.
Qatari superintendents oversaw the handover of dollar-paid salaries, and asked recipients to hand over identity documents and signatures, as part of a mechanism to reassure Israel.
Funds have been distributed in a remarkable state of calm in Gaza Strip and coincided with a decline in the momentum of Great Marches of Return on Gaza border, which began on March 30. At least 220 Palestinians were killed during Israeli assaults on the marches.
It is worth noting that Hamas has curbed demonstrators at the borders with Israel, adhering to a treaty struck to allow the entry of Qatari funds and fuel into the Gaza Strip. West Bank-based Fatah accuses Hamas of trading Palestinian blood for money.
“This farce confirms that Hamas has manipulated the people and undercut the Palestinian cause, using return marches to secure weapons,” it said in a statement.
Sources told Asharq Al-Awsat that Qatar plans to improve living conditions in Gaza by improving the power network in Gaza, building a gas-powered station, building sewage and desalination networks, and creating job opportunities through small projects.
The Palestinian Authority’s outcry against Qatar’s policy in Gaza set off the alarms on the latter backing the sector’s separatist ambitions, and undermining the Palestinian cause.