Arab daily: Qatar may halt funds to Gaza Strip

Qatar may cut off funding to the Gaza Strip for unspecified reasons.

By World Israel News Staff

Qatar may halt its monthly cash infusions to the Gaza Strip, Lebanese daily Al-Akhbar reports on Tuesday.

Qatar has promised a total of $330 million in aid, which is delivered in monthly installments.

The report didn’t make clear why Qatar said it may halt the cash flow – only that the Qatari delegate Mohammed Al Emadi told leaders of Hamas and other political factions during a recent visit that it would be “very difficult to renew the cash grant, estimated at $30 million per month.”

According to the reports, the monthly amount provides for 109,000 Palestinian families in the Strip. The Qataris are also providing a subsidy to pay for fuel for electricity.

“According to official and civil statistics, the poverty and unemployment rate in Gaza is among the highest in the world. New data released by the Ministry of Development in Gaza shows that the rate of poverty and unemployment has increased this year to nearly 75%, while 70% of the population of the Gaza Strip are ‘food insecure’ and 33.8% ‘below the extreme poverty line,'” Al-Akhbar reports.

Hamas leadership hopes that it will be able to renew the grant through contacts with Prince Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, the current emir of Qatar.

It also released a not-so-veiled threat against Israel, warning that “non-renewal means heading to an explosion in the face of the Israeli occupation, the first and last responsible for the siege.”

Hamas referred to the Israeli blockade of the Gaza Strip, which is in place in order to prevent advanced weapons from reaching terrorist hands.

Hamas, a fundamentalist Islamist terrorist organization, is sworn to destroy Israel. Its covenant is rife with passages calling for Israel’s destruction, violent jihad, rejection of peace negotiations and anti-Semitic conspiracies.

It views the conflict with Israel as a religious struggle. According to Article 15 of its covenant, “It is necessary to instill in the minds of the Muslim generations that the Palestinian problem is a religious problem, and should be dealt with on that basis.”