Hamas, Israel 'in indirect talks over solving Gaza crises'
Gaza's ruling Hamas movement are in indirect negotiations with Israel to strike a deal to resolve the crises in the besieged enclave, a Qatari diplomat revealed on Sunday.
"The US administration knows about the talks," Chairman of the Qatari Committee for the Reconstruction of Gaza Ambassador Mohammed al-Emadi told Chinese news agency Xinhua.
Emadi, who made the remarks while on a visit to the Gaza Strip, said no deal had been reached yet but the negotiations were ongoing and aimed to reach a "comprehensive deal" to relieve the humanitarian crisis in the territory, which has been under an Israeli land, sea and air blockade since 2007.
The blockade has decimated Gaza's economy, on top of causing chronic shortages of drinking water, food and fuel for the enclave's two million residents.
The ambassador added that the US has also recently put forward initiatives for the Gaza Strip as part of Donald Trump's so-called "Deal of the Century" peace plan between Israel and Palestine.
He said that the projects had been presented by Trump's adviser Jared Kushner and envoy Jason Greenblatt during their recent tour of the Middle East and Israel where they visited Qatar as well as Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan and Israel. They did not visit any of the Palestinian territories.
Read more: Explainer: Life in Gaza under Israel's blockade
Emadi said the initiatives included the provision of necessities such as electricity, desalination of drinking water, employment opportunities and revival of the industrial zone in the enclave.
"We demanded lifting the blockade on Gaza, which suffered three wars ... we highlighted to the Americans and Israelis the need to achieve this, and we are working on this matter, but so far we have not reached any results," Emadi said.
Emadi stressed however that Qatar would wait for the approval of the Palestinian Authority for the proposed projects in the Gaza Strip.
"We will not interfere without the consent and the presence of the Palestinian Authority," he stressed.
Palestinian officials have cut off contact with the US due to its pro-Israel bias, sparked by Trump moving the US embassy fro Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, therefore officially recognising Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
Read more: Sinai 'cornerstone' to Trump's peace plan, Egyptian sources reveal
On Monday, Palestinians in the West Bank took to the streets to protest Trump's yet to be unveiled peace deal, which is expected by many on the Palestinian side to be a set of dictates that will not end the occupation of Palestinian territories or give the Palestinians their own independent state.
Emadi told Xinhua that Qatar will not involve itself in the Trump's peace plan, but will support any decision made by the Palestinian Authority in this regard.
The diplomat, speaking about the Egyptian-sponsored Palestinian reconciliation agreement between Hamas and its secular rival Fatah, affirmed that "Qatar will support any plans or agreement that will help end the sufferings of the Palestinians in Gaza."
During his visit to Gaza, Emadi announced Qatar was to give a grant of $2.5 million to Gaza's universities, as well as $2.5 million for medical supplies for the enclave's hospitals.
"We are looking for a permanent solution to the problems of Gaza and we want to prevent any new war against the enclave," he said, adding that both Hamas and Israel had told him they are not interested in another conflict and would not allow Qatari-funded projects to be targeted in the conflict.