The Qatari envoy to Gaza said that the United Nations will take over the distribution of aid money to Hamas, The Times of Israel reported Friday.
“The first project will be signed with the UN on Monday at a value of $20 million for a temporary cash-for-work program to last four to six months,” Mohammed al-Emadi said at a press conference in Gaza.
Israel had held up the delivery of an infusion of cash from Qatar following an uptick in the Hamas-orchestrated violence at the border earlier this week. Last year, Qatar pledged to provide Gaza with $150 million to help its economy and ease the suffering of Gaza’s residents. Israel had previously allowed two installments of Qatari cash to be delivered to Hamas.
Once Israel allowed the third installment to be delivered, Hamas refused to accept it.
In announcing that the UN would distribute the $20 million, al-Emadi said, “It was agreed to allocate the funds of the Qatari grant to humanitarian projects in complete cooperation and coordination with the UN, whether that is to aid poor families or to improve and develop the electrical grid or projects that serve the [Hamas-run Gaza] health ministry, or cash for work.”
Previously, the Qatari funds were generally used by Hamas to pay salaries.
Al-Emadi said that the money was not meant to silence the rioters at the border. However, he did express his hope that the situation would remain calm.
There were a reported 10,000 rioters at the border fence with Israel on Friday. According to the Hamas-run Gaza health ministry, one person was killed and 23 wounded in course of the day.
According to a report issued last week by the Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center (ITIC), a review of the fatalities during the so-called Great March of Return shows that over 80% of those killed (150 out of 187) belong to or are affiliated with a terror group.
The ITIC reviewed social media for claims of affiliation of those killed in clashes.
The high rate of terror group membership among the fatalities shows that the march “is orchestrated by Hamas and significantly involves operatives of Hamas’s military wing or operatives affiliated with Hamas,” the report charges.
This is consistent with an assessment of the march written by The Israel Project Senior Fellow Julie Lenarz, who wrote in May, “Large groups of rioters marched on the border with the intent to breach the security fence and infiltrate into the Jewish State – the ‘peaceful protesters’ were carrying guns, knives, stones, explosives, Molotov cocktails, burned thousands of tires and sent kites over Israeli territory with burning objects, causing extensive damage.”
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