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Israel, Hamas edge toward agreement on mechanism for Qatari aid money

Talks on prisoner exchange and border restrictions complicated by Hamas resumption of incendiary balloon attacks.
Palestinians receive their financial aid, $100 per needy family, offered by Qatar, at a post office in Gaza City, Gaza Strip, June 27, 2020.

Palestinian press reported yesterday that the UN has agreed for a new mechanism to be put in place, for transferring Qatari assistance money to needy families in Gaza. In recent years, Qatari envoys arrived to Israel every six months, continuing from there to the Strip with suitcases full of cash. Once in place, the money was handed over to a representative of the needy families, to be distributed to them at post offices. Reportedly, the new mechanism would see the assistance money transferred to the Strip through West Bank Palestinian banks, under UN supervision. This new mechanism would guarantee better control of the money. It will address only charity money, not salaries of Gaza Strip civil servants. This solution was apparently pushed forward by UN special envoy to the region Tor Wensland. The report also claimed neither Israel not Hamas raised objection to it.

Lebanese newspaper Al-Akhbar published this morning, that in talks with international and Qatari officials, Hamas had agreed to consider a mechanism by which Qatari money would be distributed through Palestinian banks and under the supervision of the UN. Yesterday, unnamed official Israeli sources told Israel’s army radio that reports on such a new mechanism were not exact. Still, if any such mechanism is indeed established, it should not only help battling the dire economic crisis in the Strip, but also lay the ground for advancing a deal between Israel and the Hamas.

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