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The New Arab

Video: Qatari official visits Gaza pledging continued support for Palestinians

Qatar has donated tens of millions towards the reconstruction of Gaza [Anadolu]

Date of publication: 10 July, 2017

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Qatar has pledged to continue supporting the impoverished Gaza Strip despite Saudi calls for Doha to cut ties with its Hamas rulers in order to resolve the Gulf crisis
Qatar's special envoy to Gaza has pledged continued support to the besieged coastal enclave on his first visit since the start of the Gulf crisis last month.

Mohammad al-Emadi, also the head of the Qatari Committee for the Reconstruction of Gaza, arrived in Gaza along with his deputy head Khaled al-Hardan on Friday.

The visit comes amid reports of a major shakeup in Gaza, which could see Hamas mend ties with Egypt in return for an easing of the blockade.

"Despite the crisis in Qatar, we will continue to support you," al-Emadi said on Sunday. "We will open a new Qatari project and continue the projects which are already under way."

Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Egypt and Bahrain cut diplomatic contact with Qatar last month, after alleging without proof that Doha was "sponsoring terrorism".

Saudi Arabia demanded that Qatar end its support for Hamas, the Palestinian Islamist movement which rules the Gaza Strip.

Qatar says it provides financial support to civilian projects in Gaza and does not finance Hamas, though it has hosted its exiled political leaders.

After the 2014 war with Israel, gas-rich Qatar pledged $1 billion for reconstruction in Gaza - the largest of any single country.

As of December 2016, $216 million of that had been dispersed, according to the World Bank, while the Gulf state suffers from falling energy prices.

In January, Qatar agreed to pay $12 million over three months to cover the cost of electricity in Gaza.

More than two-thirds of Gazans are reliant on international aid, with the enclave suffering from a decade-long Israeli blockade.

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