GAZA STRIP (AP) – Qatar resumed aid distribution to Gaza on Wednesday for the first time since the May war between Israel and Hamas in the territory, this time through a mechanism that does not involve suitcases full of cash.
The official Hamas government news agency reported that the money will be disbursed through supermarkets, exchange houses and other retail stores in a process that will continue over the next few days. The UN has said the funding amounts to $ 40 million.
The aid is part of an informal truce negotiated by Egypt and the UN in recent years.
Before the May war, Qatari diplomats were handing over millions of dollars in cash in suitcases that they delivered at the Israeli border crossing at Erez. The policy sparked controversy within Israel and critics accused the government of giving in to pressure from Hamas. Naftali Bennett has vowed to end such deliveries since he became prime minister in June.
Qatar’s aid will go to some 100,000 families in need and to pay the salaries of officials in the Hamas-led government. Aid to needy families has resumed, but there is still no agreement on aid for the Hamas government’s payroll.
Chadi Nassir, 7, seven, sits in a donkey cart as his brother, Mahmoud, loads him with belongings recovered from their damaged home in Beit Hanoun, northern Gaza Strip, on Sunday, June 13. 2021. (AP Photo / Felipe Dana)