Qatar pays for Hamas' survival

The Palestinian Authority shows strength.

The UAE has "normalized" relations with Israel. But what does that mean? What are the advantages for the UAE? Qatar has not "normalized' relations. Instead, it is donating more money to the Palestinians – USD 360m - to go towards paying salaries, paying for electricity and alleviating poverty.

This article from AP explains what is happening.

The Qatari government says it will provide $360 million in assistance for the Gaza Strip during the coming year By

1 February 2021, 05:29

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip -- The Qatari government on Sunday said it would provide $360 million in assistance for the Gaza Strip during the coming year, renewing a program that has helped reduce fighting between Israel and the territory's militant Hamas rulers.

Qatar, an energy-rich Gulf country, has been providing $20 million to Gaza each month since 2018. The payments have paid for much-needed electricity, helped Hamas cover the salaries of its civil servants and provided monthly $100 stipends to scores of impoverished families. Qatar has provided additional funds for development projects such as new roads and hospitals.

Israel and Hamas are bitter enemies that have fought three wars since the Islamic militant group took control of Gaza in 2007. The fighting, combined with an Israeli blockade and continued infighting with the rival Palestinian Authority, have ravaged Gaza's economy.

The Qatari aid, delivered with Israeli agreement, has provided some relief to the local economy and is seen as a factor in preventing lingering tensions between Israel and Hamas from spilling over into renewed fighting.

The Qatari announcement comes as Hamas and the Palestinian Authority are trying to hold new elections in the Palestinian territories. The vote is meant as a key step toward reconciliation.

This is another article talking about Qatar's funding of Hamas. It's from Al Monitor.

Qatar has announced new funding for Palestinians in Gaza.

By Al Monitor

Feb 2, 2021

The $360 million grant was requested by both Palestinians and the Israeli government and will go toward salaries, funding electricity and alleviating poverty.

"The grant encompasses provision to purchase fuel to run power stations for electricity, assist impoverished families and pay for salaries of thousands of employees," a Qatari Foreign Ministry spokesman conveyed in an email to Al-Monitor and other media outlets.

The Gaza Strip is governed by Hamas. Israel controls its air and sea borders as well as its land border with Israel. Gaza also has a land border with Egypt. Hamas and the Israeli military fight one another off and on but also negotiate on some issues, including prisoner exchanges.

Qatar has a history of using its wealth to assist Palestinians. Qatar began a grant to Gaza in 2018 and has renewed it continuously since then. The grant was approved again last month.

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Gaza is highly impoverished and has chronic and long electricity shortages. These conditions create a need for foreign assistance.

The Gulf state has given more than $1.5 billion in aid to the Palestinians since 2014. The assistance has helped with rebuilding schools and providing electricity, the spokesman said.

Qatar lacks formal diplomatic relations with Israel but has mediated cease-fires between Israel and Hamas in the past, most recently in August.

Hamas originated in the Palestinian Muslim Brotherhood. Qatar's support for Hamas and other affiliates of the Islamist organization was a major reason for the Gulf diplomatic crisis between Qatar and Saudi Arabia. Qatar's renewal of the Gaza grant came days after it reconciled with Saudi Arabia and other Saudi-allied Gulf states in January.

Qatar has maintained a relationship with Israel, despite its support for Hamas. The Foreign Ministry spokesman said Israel will be involved in the delivery of Qatari aid to Gaza.

"The grant will be sent and distributed in close coordination with the Israeli government," he said.

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Friday, 26 February 2021