After months of negotiations, Qatar has delivered $15 million to Gaza, with the intention of paying salaries for Gaza’s civil servants and easing the humanitarian situation. The money, sent by cash in three large suitcases, was brought into Gaza through Israel last Thursday by Qatar’s envoy to Gaza, Mohamed Al Emadi.
Images from Gaza over the weekend showed Palestinians civil servants lining up to receive the cash, with some people fanning $100 bills in their hands. Hamas ordered post offices to remain open on Friday and Saturday — the normal weekend in Gaza — to handle the cash disbursements, a Hamas spokesman told CNN.
The cash transfer comes just a few weeks after Qatar began sending urgently needed fuel into Gaza to power the coastal enclave’s power plant. The fuel supply increased the electricity in Gaza from about four hours a day to eight hours in an effort to alleviate the humanitarian crisis there.
Negotiations for the financial package to Gaza began months earlier, following the Palestinian Authority’s decision to cut salaries of employees in Gaza last year, an Israeli government source with knowledge of the matter told CNN. The sanctions against Gaza were an attempt to put economic pressure on Hamas to relinquish control of the coastal enclave to the Palestinian Authority.