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The New Arab & agencies

Qatar distributes fifth batch of aid in besieged Gaza

Palestinians wait in a queue outside a post office to receive the Qatari aid (Getty)

Date of publication: 13 May, 2019

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Qatar's latest batch of aid to the besieged Gaza Strip will see 109,000 people benefit.

Qatar began distributing millions of dollars in aid in the Gaza Strip on Monday in a fresh bid to restore calm after a flare up in violence which saw 24 Palestinians and four Israelis killed earlier this month.

The Qatari Gaza Reconstruction Committee announced that a fifth batch of money would be distributed to thousands of needy families. Qatar has been providing aid to the Gaza Strip on a monthly basis since November 2018.

The Reconstruction Committee’s Head of Public Relations, Abdul Rahman Khalidi, told The New Arab that 109,000 people would benefit from the aid, receiving 100 dollars each in this batch. The money would be distributed via post offices in Gaza starting on Monday, he added.

An agreement has been brokered which reportedly includes tens of millions of dollars of Qatari aid to Gaza as part of a package to ease Israel's crippling blockade of the strip. Khalidi told The New Arab that the total amount of aid provided to families in the Gaza Strip could reach 480 million US dollars.

Qatari envoy Mohammed al-Emadi entered Gaza early on Monday, accompanied by a delegation.

Meanwhile, UN envoy Nickolay Mladenov warned on Monday that conflict between Israel and Hamas could resume soon.

Israel has fought three wars against the Gaza Strip three times since 2008 and analysts fear another round remains likely.

"The risk of war remains imminent and today we have perhaps the last chance to consolidate the agreements that have been reached," Mladenov said. "The next escalation is going to be probably the last."

He said that the UN was preparing a series of projects to improve the lives of people in Gaza and welcomed the Israeli reopening of border crossings with the Strip.

Around 80 percent of Palestinians in impoverished Gaza are reliant on international aid, according to the United Nations. The unemployment rate in the Strip is 54 percent, reaching 70 percent among university graduates.

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