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New Qatari funds for Hamas employees expected this week: Official

  • News Desk

    Agence France-Presse

Gaza City, Palestine   /   Tue, January 22, 2019   /   09:09 am
New Qatari funds for Hamas employees expected this week: Official Noor, the 33-year-old wife of Hani al-Laham, an employee of the Ramallah-based Palestinian government, stands with her children in their shack home near the beach in Gaza City on June 4, 2018. For months, Laham hasn't received the 1,700 shekels ($475) monthly salary he is supposed to get from the internationally-recognised Palestinian Authority (PA) government based in Ramallah for his job in the security services, though him and 60,000 other public employees aren't allowed to work more than a decade after the Islamist Hamas movement seized control of the Gaza strip in 2007. (AFP/Mohammed Abed)

A fresh tranche of Qatari funds for Hamas civil servants in Gaza will be delivered via Israel this week, the Qatar ambassador to the Palestinian enclave said Monday.

Mohammed al-Emadi is expected to bring the $15 million into the strip in the coming days, with funds to be distributed immediately.

"We are due to go to Gaza before the end of the week, most likely on Wednesday night," Emadi told AFP by message from Doha. "We will pay the third payment," he added, referring to two payments in previous months.

The funds pay the salaries of roughly 40,000 Hamas civil servants, as well as providing financial assistance to poor families in the empoverished strip.

They are injected with Israeli blessings after an informal truce deal between the Jewish state and the strip's Islamist rulers Hamas.

Under the deal months of Hamas-backed protests along the border remain relatively quiet.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has faced right-wing criticism of the agreement, with his defence minister resigning in November accusing him of being soft on Hamas.

Separately Monday the World Health Organization warned it was "concerned" over the impact of critical fuel shortages in Gaza.

The strip suffers from chronic energy shortages, though the crisis had been eased in recent months with Qatar also allowed to import fuel to run Gaza's sole power plant.

"The functionality of Gaza's 14 public hospitals is increasingly jeopardised by electricity shortages," the WHO said in a statement.

"Several of the most severely impacted hospitals have already put rationalisation measures in place.

"Drastic service reductions, including closures of wards and hospitals, are imminent," it added, saying hospitals had fuel reserves for only a few more days.