Qatar to Cut Fuel Subsidy to Gaza

Palestinian sources say that Qatar will cut its subsidy in half; Israeli government officials are making inquiries into the matter.

By Batya Jerenberg, World Israel News

Qatari envoy Mohammed Al-Emadi announced Sunday that his country will be cutting its fuel subsidy to the Gaza Strip in half, according to Palestinian sources cited by Kan Israel News.

No other details were forthcoming, and the Israeli Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) stated that it was looking into the matter with the relevant bodies, including the Qatari government.

Since October 2018, Qatar has been funding a large portion of the fuel that Israel delivers to the Gaza power plant. Over the course of the  year, Israel has temporarily halted the fuel deliveries several times in reaction to terrorist acts committed by Palestinians in the Strip.

This includes the weekly mass protests at the border where explosives and rocks are thrown at the IDF soldiers on guard, continuous attempts by armed men to cross the border, kite and balloon arson attacks that have burned down thousands of hectares of cropland and forests, and rocket attacks on Israeli towns and villages.

The latest interruption came last week, when Israel reduced the fuel allowed into the coastal enclave by 50 percent after three rockets were launched from Gaza at southern Israel last Sunday, forcing the Iron Dome defense system to shoot down two that were headed to the town of Sderot.

Israel acquiesced to the Qatari aid in an effort to help relieve the electricity shortage in Gaza so that the residents could get up to eight hours of electricity a day instead of four.  In June, Qatar even reportedly offered to pay for installing and running a new power line from Israel to Gaza.

Whether the fuel subsidy is cut or not, Sunday is still the target date for 100,000 Gazans to receive $100 each in a $10 million monthly distribution promised by Al-Emadi last week that is supposed to continue for over two years.