UAE on Path to Replace Qatar as Main Financial Source for Gaza Strip

Palestinian women take part in a rally of Hamas supporters to commemorate the 27th anniversary of the Islamist movements creation and to ask for the reconstruction of the Gaza Strip on December 12, 2014 in Jabalia refugee camp in the northern Gaza Strip.

TEL AVIV — Financial support from Qatar to various projects in the Gaza Strip has been significantly reduced since the beginning of the crisis in relations between Qatar and the Gulf states, leaving a vacuum that has begun to be filled in the last several weeks by the United Arab Emirates, Arab media reported.

Understandings mediated by Egypt and reached in the last few weeks between Hamas and Muhammed Dahlan, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’ main political opponent, have translated into millions of dollars that have begun to reach residents of the Gaza Strip as social aid to tens of thousands in need, support for schools beginning a new school year, the financing of the collapsing health system in the Gaza Strip and various other projects.

Mueen Rajab, an economics lecturer at Al Azhar University in Gaza, told the news outlet Idaat that, “The continued drop in the financing of projects in Gaza from Qatar began in the early days of the crisis in the Persian Gulf.”

According to Rajab, there is concern in the Strip that Qatari support will cease altogether as the Emirates become the main economic sponsor of the understandings between Dahlan and Hamas.

In a conversation with an Egyptian news outlet, Fatah official Samir Masharawi, a member of Dahlan’s camp who coordinated all the Qatari aid programs, said that a monthly sum of $15 million will be transferred to the Gaza Strip by the Emirates to help the residents.

Masharawi claimed that the money wouldn’t be delivered to Hamas, but to specified projects under Egyptian inspection and with approval from qualified Egyptian sources.


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