Qatar offers to pay for new power line from Israel to Gaza

Qatar said it would be dispatching expert technicians to “discuss the mechanisms of operation of the power line.”

By World Israel News Staff 

A Qatari envoy arrived on Sunday in the Gaza Strip to transfer another $25 million in continuing aid to officials in the Hamas-controlled territory, according to Palestinian sources cited by Ynet. Qatar has also offered to pay for a new power line that would run from Israel into Gaza, Kan public radio reports.

Envoy Muhammad al-Emadi’s arrival was part of the latest effort, with Israel’s backing, to improve the socio-economic situation in Gaza, part of a bid to calm the situation and prevent future violent clashes between Israel and Gaza terror groups.

Israeli and U.S. officials believe that improved living conditions would lead to a decline in support among Gazan residents for attacks on Israel.

According to Kan, Qatar has agreed to pay over a new power line and the $10 million a month cost of running it. The line would carry 100 megawatts of electricity.

Last month, al-Emadi announced that Qatar would be dispatching a team of expert technicians to hold talks “with the concerned parties to discuss the mechanisms of operation of the power line,” according to Middle East Monitor.

The Israeli-U.S. plan is to encourage Qatar to use its great wealth to bring relief to Gaza, even though Israeli officials previously rejected Qatari involvement due to its close ties with Hamas. Behind this change in policy is the growing threat from Iran which has created an alliance between Israel and Gulf states, allowing for greater cooperation on the Palestinian issue in order to bolster a strategic bloc against Iran.

Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been accused within his government coalition of being too soft in responding to Palestinian terror from Gaza, including some 700 rockets which were fired at the Jewish State during an escalation in early May.

MK Avigdor Liberman resigned as defense minister in November after Netanyahu agreed to a truce with Hamas after some 500 rockets were fired at Israel.

Netanyahu has countered that his policy is part of a larger regional outlook which brings important gains to Israel in the long term.