Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ordered that the allocation of Qatar’s $15 million to Hamas movement, de facto governing the Gaza Strip, should be suspended in light of an overnight shelling attack launched on Israel from the Gaza Strip, Galei Tzahal reported on Monday.
According to Israel’s Galei Tzahal radio station, the Qatari businessman who had to transfer the money to the Gaza via Israel was informed by the Israeli authorities that the money transfer was temporarily on hold.
The step was taken in light of a shelling attack on the Israeli territory and recent clashes on the border with the Gaza Strip, the broadcaster added.
Earlier on Monday, the Israel Defense Forces said its fighter jets and helicopters had hit a number of targets in northern Gaza in response to a missile launched at Israel from Gaza.
Meanwhile Qatar has been undergoing an internal review, of whether it will continue to send cash to the Gaza Strip and also studying alternative methods of transferring funds due to “image” problems. Presumably, Qatar fears that the payment of salaries to Hamas employees will be seen as support for terrorism rather than support for Gaza’s rehabilitation.
According to a report by the Israeli news agency Walla, Qatar fears that the payment of salaries to Hamas employees will be seen as support for terrorism rather than support for Gaza’s reconstruction.
According to the report, an internal dossier circulating among Qatari officials claims that the transfer of money to Hamas has been a “problematic” move, criticized by both Israel and the Palestinians. The document states that the cash transfer “reinforces the world’s negative view of Qatar that it economically sponsors terrorism” against Sunni countries.
Last year, Saudi Arabia severed relations with Qatar after accusing the tiny but affluent Gulf country of supporting extremism in the region.
The document refers specifically to the problems caused by the method of transfer and the image of Qatar in the world. Reminiscent of the mafia, Kan News agency released a photo of how the 1st 15 million dollars was transfered;
Three suitcases in the back a car.
“If the intention was only to pay the salaries of government officials, it would have been possible to transfer the money directly to their bank accounts, rather than in cash, a method reminiscent of the mafia,” the report says.
The dossier notes that Israel has deterred hundreds of individuals from receiving salaries because they are members of Hamas’ military wing. However, Qatar believes that Israel’s ability to ensure that such money does not fall into the pockets of terrorists is limited.
“Hamas’s demand for money in a way that bypasses Israel’s monitoring capabilities reinforces the presumption that some of the money would go to terrorist organizations,” the document said.
“In Qatar, they fear that the transfer of funds will eventually play against them,” the Israeli news agency noted. “Instead of being perceived as rehabilitating Gaza, Qatar is perceived by the world as financing Hamas and its military wing.
Qatar is scheduled to distribute $90 million in six monthly installments of $15 million per month, mainly to pay officials who have been employed by Hamas, the Islamic terrorist group that controls the Gaza Strip.
The first cash payment to the coastal enclave was delivered, through Israel, by Qatari envoy Mohammad al Emadi in three suitcases.
Qatar also indicated that it will provide between $100 to $50,000 poor families in Gaza, and larger sums to Palestinians injured in clashes on the border with Israel.
Ahmed Majdalani, a senior official of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), the backbone of the Palestinian Authority, said Emadi had “smuggled the money” into Gaza in suitcases like a “gangster.” Ahmed Majdalani, a senior official of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), the backbone of the Palestinian Authority, said Emadi had “smuggled the money” into Gaza in suitcases like a “gangster. The method of transferring the money has undermined Egypt’s efforts at reconciliation between Hamas and the Palestinian Authority, and will allow the terrorist group to consolidate its control over Gaza, Majdalani said.