A Qatari payment of $15 million earmarked to pay the salaries of government workers in the Gaza Strip will be transferred to Gaza this week – in cash – Palestinians officials reported.
According to the Palestinians, a Qatari envoy was due to arrive in Israel either Sunday or Monday, carrying the money in suitcases. Once Israel approves the transfer of funds, the money will be taken to Gaza.
Qatar began making the monthly money transfers to Gaza last year as a way of mitigating the ongoing humanitarian crisis the residents of Gaza are enduring.
According to understandings reached with Egypt and Israel, Doha will transfer a total of $90 million in aid funds to Gaza.
Israeli officials stressed that the funds were earmarked solely for civilian functionaries’ wages.
The first cash infusion was made in November. At the time, Qatar’s official news agency said the funds would benefit over 60,000 public servants hired by Hamas since 2007.
After Hamas chose to escalate the situation on its border with Israel, firing several rockets at Israeli communities adjacent to the border fence, Israel asked Qatar on Jan. 7 to delay its monthly disbursement of $15 million to Gaza.
“Israel sent a message to Qatar that it would not allow the money transfer to Gaza, because Hamas was not honoring the cease-fire understandings and permitting incendiary balloons and rocket fire,” a Palestinian official told Israel Hayom earlier this month.