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Will Qatar-Israel relations threaten PA’s relevance in Gaza?

Qatar’s engagement with Hamas and Israeli officials on Gaza reconstruction projects has provoked fears in the Palestinian Authority of a usurpation of its power.
Palestinian workers clear the rubble of a school that witnesses said was destroyed by Israeli shelling during the most recent conflict between Israel and Hamas, in the east of Gaza City December 3, 2014. According to housing minister Mufeed al-Hasayna, Gaza needs 8,000 tonnes of cement a day to meet demand. A new system set up with the United Nations to comply with Israeli requirements lets through at most 2,000, he said. At that rate, reconstruction would take more than 30 years, said Hasayna, one of four
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Ramallah, WEST BANK — The March 9 visit to Gaza by Qatari Ambassador Mohammad al-Amadi, also head of the Qatari National Committee for the Reconstruction of Gaza, and his meetings with Hamas and Israeli officials have aroused anger and fear within the Palestinian Authority (PA) and the Fatah movement. An official Palestinian source told Al-Monitor on condition of anonymity that the PA and Fatah are concerned about the potential marginalization “of the PA’s role in the reconstruction issue” after of the Qataris were reported to have sought direct Israeli approval for bringing reconstruction materials into Gaza for the construction projects they are funding.

The source said, “The PA fears the political implications hidden in the trenches of the Qatari initiatives and Qatar’s direct communication with Israel, particularly in terms of the proposed long-term bilateral truce between Hamas and Israel and the establishment of an airport and a seaport in Gaza.”

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