Israel has given its blessing to the joint U.N.-Qatari funding effort, but questions remain over the financial transparency of the aid program.
By World Israel News Staff
A Qatari envoy to the Gaza Strip is expected to arrive this week in the coastal enclave together with United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Nickolay Mladenov.
During the visit, Qatar is to hand over $30 million for the payment of salaries of civil servants in the Hamas government and assistance to needy families, reports Israel Hayom.
Mr. Mladenov reportedly will concentrate on encouraging employment and economic initiatives.
The Qatari Foreign Ministry has pledged to contribute $480 million toward improving infrastructure, health, and education, as well as supporting a U.N. plan to repair and improve the Gaza electricity grid, Israel Hayom adds.
Israel has given its blessing to the joint U.N.-Qatari effort, but questions remain over the financial transparency of the aid program.
In the past, Hamas has demanded that it receive the money in cash. Israel has insisted that the funding go directly to the earmarked projects and via vouchers.
The Israel Hayom report says it is not clear who will oversee the process, with the main aim to ensure that the money does not go to fund terror.
After hundreds of rockets were fired by terror group from the Strip into Israel last weekend, and four Israelis were killed, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu agreed to a cessation of violence arrangement that included various measures to improve Gazan living conditions.
Israel withdrew all its civilians and military from the Gaza Strip in 2005 but has said that as long as terror activity continues, it must keep an especially close watch on land and sea crossings.
On Friday, the weekly Hamas-encouraged border clashes with Israeli troops took place despite the supposed cessation of hostilities. Even so, Israel went ahead on Sunday with opening border crossings to allow pedestrians and commerce to enter Gaza.