Israel approves Qatari aid transfer to Gaza amid reports of planned ‘Day of Rage’

Cash transfers will not be allowed into the Gaza Strip anymore under the approved deal.

By Tobias Siegal, World Israel News

Defense Minister Benny Gantz confirmed on Thursday evening that the transfer of Qatari aid into the Gaza Strip will be renewed, following reports that indicated that a breakthrough in negotiations was reached in recent days.

According to the compromise reached between Qatar and the United Nations and approved by the Israeli defense establishment, the money will be transferred to a bank in Gaza and distributed directly to the bank accounts of poor families in the Strip. No cash transfers will be allowed into Gaza anymore.

“Under the new mechanism financial aid will be transferred to hundreds of thousands of Gazan people by the UN directly to their bank accounts, with Israel overseeing the recipients.,” Gantz said, adding that Israel is working with the Palestinian Authority to establish “an alternative mechanism for the transfer of funds under their supervision.”

He thanked Qatar for “taking a positive role as a stabilizing actor in the Middle East” and personally thanked the UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Tor Wennesland, and the US State Department for their involvement in the process.

Finally, he thanked Egypt, “which is a cornerstone for keeping the quiet, stability and security in the region.”

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Gantz’ announcement marks the first time Qatari aid will be transferred into Gaza since Prime Minister Naftali Bennett took office, after Israel said it would not allow any aid to reach Gaza unless Hamas releases two Israeli civilians being held captive for years and the remains of IDF soldiers Oron Shaul and Hadar Goldin.

The deal will not include the release of Israeli captives held by Hamas, Gantz clarified, noting that Israel will continue its “pressure campaign” for advancing the issue.

Hamas had threatened to renew violence against Israel unless it received the Qatari funds. On Sunday, the first rocket was launched from Gaza toward Israel since Operation Guardian of the Walls in May.

Despite that, Israel has gradually renewed civilian relief into Gaza in recent days, allowing construction materials and goods to enter the Strip through the Erez border crossing for the first time in 18 months.

Earlier on Thursday, the IDF beefed up security and deployed reinforcements along the Gaza border amid reports of a “Day of Rage” organized by Hamas and scheduled to take place over the weekend, Israeli media reported, citing the Lebanese newspaper Al-Akhbar, which is affiliated with Hezbollah.

According to the Lebanese report, terror factions in Gaza were considering holding a “Day of Rage” on Saturday, similar to the weekly “March of Return” protests that took place along the border in 2018.

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Thousands of Palestinians will approach the border fence, the paper wrote, while incendiary balloons will be launched toward Israel in a concentrated effort. Other actions detailed by the paper included throwing stones and Molotov cocktails at IDF soldiers and attempting to breach the security fence.

Weather the deal approved by Israel will be enough for Hamas to recant its plans is yet to be seen. Gantz stressed Thursday that Israel will remain committed to defending itself and will not tolerate any violence from Gaza.