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Palestinians, Qatar Agree on Aid Transfer to Gaza

Palestinians, Qatar Agree on Aid Transfer to Gaza

Wednesday, 4 August, 2021 - 07:30
A Palestinian man shows the aid he received. (AFP)

The Palestinian Authority (PA) and Qatar agreed to transfer the $30 million monthly grant to citizens in the Gaza Strip, announced Israeli army radio.

The transfers include assistance to 100,000 beneficiaries, where each will receive $100, and salaries to over 27,000 employees in departments affiliated with Hamas.

The funds will be transferred through the PA banks in Gaza and then to the officials. The banks are affiliated with the Palestinian Monetary Authority and the transfer will be made using ATM cards with two codes to be agreed upon between the Authority and Qatar.

Each month, Qatar will send the money to the same bank, which will then send text messages to each beneficiary to withdraw the amount through the ATM card. The bank will deduct a maximum of $1.5 commission per exchange, regardless of the amount.

Army Radio indicated that the new mechanism would limit Israel’s interference in determining the names of the beneficiaries and will put an end to the approach that allows Israel to object to some of the names as it is not a party to the agreement.

During previous transfers, Israel obtained lists of names of the beneficiaries, through Qatar, for examination at the Shin Bet, after which the grant is transferred by mail.

However, after the last war in May, Tel Aviv decided to block the Qatari grant, claiming indirect funding to Hamas. It caused a crisis inside the Strip, and Israel insisted on a new mechanism that does not include the movement’s involvement in distributing the grant.

Initially, Hamas insisted on being involved. However, it yielded after a wave of widespread anger, as many beneficiaries explained that despite the small amount, the aid helps them and boosts the economy.

It was reported that the PA did not want to assume this responsibility, but on Monday Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh announced that his government is ready to distribute the Qatari grant funds through the Ministry of Social Development.

The PM confirmed that “the PA agrees to be responsible for transferring part of the Qatari grant to the Gaza Strip intended only for needy families.”

Based on the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Palestinians through the Ministry of Social Development and the Qatari Foreign Ministry through the Gaza Rehabilitation Committee, the PA has agreed to transfer Qatari funds through banks subject to the supervision of the Palestinian Monetary Fund, announced Shtayyeh.

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