Qatar, PA agree on mechanism to deliver more aid to Gaza
Qatar and the Palestinian Authority (PA) have agreed on a mechanism to deliver aid to families in the besieged Gaza Strip, after Hamas allegedly approved Ramallah's role in the transfer, Israeli media have reported.
In a statement late Monday, Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh said the PA agreed to transfer "the Qatari grant to the Gaza Strip intended only for needy families".
The agreement is based Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between PA's ministry of social development and Qatar's foreign ministry through the Gaza Rehabilitation Committee.
It requires the PA to transfer the funds to banks subject to the supervision of the Palestinian Monetary Fund, with transfers then made to a list of names received from Qatar using ATM cards bearing each bank's logo.
Some Palestinian banks on Thursday expressed opposition to their expected role for fear of facing possible legal consequences, Ramallah-based sources told Ynet News. It is not clear what impact this will have on the process.
Around 100,000 low-income families are earmarked for assistance, as well as nearly 28,000 beneficiaries from the Hamas-run government in Gaza, with $100 allocated to each recipient.
Hamas had recently agreed to the mechanism, on the condition that it received assurance that no fee would be deducted from the aid money destined for the families. The PA also agreed to the list given to it by Qatar would include names stated by Hamas.
But a Hamas media adviser appeared to reject reports that an agreement had been reached, saying there had been no official confirmation of a deal involving Qatar and the PA aside from reports in Israeli media.
In comments to Doha News, Taher El Nounou accused Israel of blocking the entry of Qatari aid money "as part of its attempts to pressure the Palestinian people and blackmail the people and their leaders".
Appearing to sideline the role of the PA in any process, he said that Hamas expressed its "appreciation to our brothers in Qatar who are working towards providing aid and its delivery".