New act of reconciliation in Gaza: Hamas divides Qatari dollars

Gaza (Palestinian Territories) – Long lines of Palestinians formed in Gaza on Friday to collect overdue balances or aid funded by Hamas from Qatar, in a new attempt to dispel the tensions in and around the blocked territory.

In another sign of at least temporary easing, the enclave, theater for months of demonstrations and clashes with the Israeli army along the fence that Israel separated from the Gaza Strip, experienced a second consecutive Friday of mobilization, contained in.

One Palestinian was killed and 37 others were injured by Israeli guns, according to the Gaza Ministry of Health. But Gaza has had much more bloody days since March 30.

Hundreds of Palestinians gathered at different points, but for the majority at a relative distance from the barrier guarded by Israeli snipers, and the skirmishes were limited, AFP journalists and witnesses said.

Strangely enough, a Qatar diplomatic convoy in the vicinity of demonstrators east of Gaza City was stoned and quickly turned back, because it came from this Gulf monarchy which was a new sign of potential relaxation. earlier in the day.

Dozens of Palestinians hurried in front of the post office counters in the morning, exceptionally open on Friday and Saturday, and then presented hundreds of dollar bills.

"I came for $ 400 for my salary in July", says Fadi Abu Safia, a 35-year-old official.

Mohamed Abed al-Hadi, 27, has raised 700 shekels ($ 190) for Palestinians who have been injured by the violence of recent months. "a nice sum considering the circumstances in which we live".

– Money suitcases –

In total, it is 90 million Qatar dollars which, according to Hamas, should be divided into six monthly installments of 15 million, mainly to pay at least partially the officials of the Islamic movement in power in the enclave.

For months, tens of thousands of civil servants have been paid sporadically, contributing to tensions in the Palestinian enclave, which has been hit by wars, Israeli and Egyptian blockades, poverty and shortages.

The Israeli state, which controls all access to the territory beyond the Egyptian border, left Qatar's ambassador in Gaza, Mohammed al-Emadi, on Thursday evening for the Erez crossing between Israel and the enclave with suitcases full of dollars, provided of anonymity a source within Hamas and a Palestinian source at the border.

No confirmation from Israel has been obtained.

Qatar, who has no diplomatic relations with Israel, has long supported Hamasterrorist"by the Hebrew state, and considered non-patriotic by a part of the international community.

The operation is not validated by the UN, but it is more in line with the commitment, particularly by the Egyptian neighbor and the United Nations, for a lasting cease-fire between Israel and Hamas, after months of violence.

At least 221 Palestinians have been killed by the Israeli gun since March 30. An Israeli soldier was killed by a Palestinian sniper.

Israel calls for a return to calm, Hamas a relief from the powerful blockade that was imposed by the Jewish state for more than ten years.

An improvement in living conditions, in particular the payment of civil servants, is considered an important relaxation factor.

– "gangsterism"-

One in two Gazans lives below the poverty line and the Gaza economy is in "free fall", according to the World Bank.

Qatar plays a prominent role in the pursuit of relaxation. Under the auspices of the UN, he agreed to finance 60 million dollars of fuel oil for the sole power plant in the area for six months. Deliveries started in October, with Israel's approval, have begun to partially reduce a chronic shortage of assets.

Qatar has also decided this week to give $ 5 million aid to 50,000 poor families in Gaza.

The reconciliation is shrinking on both sides, especially on the part of President Mahmoud Abbas, President of the Palestinian Authority.

Deposited from Gaza by Hamas in 2007 as the historically recognized interlocutor of the international community, the Authority considers itself to be short-circuited and fears recognition of the fact and the sustainability of Hamas control over Gaza.

What the ambassador of Qatar has done is similar to "gangster actionsAhmed Majdalani, a relative of Abbas, told AFP.

On the Israeli side, Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman has already said that he does not believe that an arrangement with Hamas is possible. During a meeting with employees, he sentenced Thursday the start of the Qatari funds as a "capitulation for terrorism", reported the daily Yediot Aharonot.