Palestinian Authority blocks entry of Qatari aid to Gaza

Palestinian workers and merchants hold a banner that reads 'Open the border, our lifeline' near Beit Hanun in the northern Gaza Strip (AFP)

Mohammad Ayesh

Middle East Eye  /  July 16, 2021

The Palestinian Authority (PA) in Ramallah has rejected a plan submitted by all parties to deliver a Qatari grant to the besieged Gaza Strip, Arabi21 quoted Palestinian sources as saying on Tuesday.

The sources confirmed that the PA rejected an Egyptian-mediated agreement between Hamas and Israel, as part of efforts to end the stifling humanitarian crisis in Gaza.

Sources familiar with the indirect negotiations taking place in Cairo between Hamas and Israel said that “a new mechanism was presented, according to which the Qatari grant would be transferred through the United Nations to be handed directly to poor families in the Gaza Strip,” which was rejected by the PA after Israel approved it.

The sources pointed out that “Israel agreed to this method, the United Nations is willing to implement it, and there is approval from the United States, but the Palestinian Authority in Ramallah rejected this mechanism, which has hindered the entry of these funds so far”.

The sources added, “The Palestinian Authority is clearly indifferent about the difficult humanitarian conditions that the besieged Gaza Strip is going through, in light of the approaching celebration of the blessed Eid al-Adha occasion.”

Gaza has seen a deterioration in its humanitarian, economic and living conditions for 15 years, due to the ongoing severe blockade imposed by Israel and the closure of crossings and the prevention of entry of basic necessities, which have driven up poverty and unemployment rates. There have also been persistent power outages.

Mohammad Ayesh is an Arab journalist currently based in London