Benny Gantz said that Israel has reached an agreement on Qatar’s resumption of payment assistance mechanisms to thousands of families in Gaza.
Israel said it has reached an agreement with Qatar and the United Nations on a mechanism to transfer aid from Gulf countries to the besieged Gaza Strip, which increases the prospects for rescue in the Palestinian enclaves destroyed in the Israeli-Hamas conflict.
Aid spending after the fighting in May was partially blocked by the Israeli dispute over Hamas and the debate on how to prevent the organization from obtaining such funds.
Hamas, the Palestinian organization that administers Gaza, promised not to use donor funds. After the May 21 ceasefire, this has become a key issue in Egypt-mediated talks, which basically stopped hostilities.
Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz announced an agreement on Thursday, saying that he has maintained contact with Qatar “to establish a mechanism to ensure that funds reach those in need, while maintaining Israel’s security needs.”
Gantz said in a statement that under the new mechanism, aid from Qatar “will be directly transferred from the United Nations to the bank accounts of hundreds of thousands of Gazans, and the recipients will be monitored by Israel.”
Gantz added that Israel will continue the “pressure campaign demanding the return of Israeli soldiers and citizens held hostage by Hamas”, referring to the two soldiers who disappeared in the 2014 Gaza War and the two who slid into the enclave. Civilians.
Hamas did not immediately comment. It did not elaborate on the situation of the four Israelis.
In recent years, Qatar has provided hundreds of millions of dollars to the poorest families in Gaza. These funds have been the main source of stability in poor areas, where the unemployment rate hovered around 50%.
But since the conflict in May, Israel has blocked payments and insisted on guaranteeing that funds will not reach Hamas. Under the pre-war system, approximately US$30 million in cash was transported to Gaza every month in suitcases through Israeli-controlled border crossings.
The Qatar Gaza Strip Reconstruction Commission stated that it has signed a memorandum of understanding with the United Nations to distribute US$100 to each of approximately 100,000 families starting in September.
During the fighting in May, more than 4,000 houses in Gaza were destroyed or damaged, and the World Bank estimated losses as high as US$380 million. Egypt and Qatar each pledged 500 million U.S. dollars for the reconstruction of Gaza.
In the fighting in May, at least 250 Palestinians and 13 Israelis were killed.