TEL AVIV – Amid another flare-up along the Gaza border during which a Palestinian sniper opened fire on a group of IDF soldiers and explosions were reportedly heard in the northern Gaza Strip, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stopped the transfer of Qatari funds to the Hamas-run enclave.
An IDF officer was lightly injured after Palestinian sniper fire struck his helmet Tuesday evening, marking the second shooting attack of the day in the area, the army said. The IDF responded by targeting a Hamas observation post, killing one Palestinian, the Hamas-run Gaza health ministry said. Two other Hamas terror operatives were injured, one critically.
Netanyahu then pulled the next installment of $15 million of Qatari funds, according to a Qatari diplomat.
An Israeli source confirmed Netanyahu’s move, saying, “In the wake of the recent events in the Gaza Strip and after consultations with the security services, Prime Minister Netanyahu decided not to allow the transfer tomorrow of the Qatari funds to the Gaza Strip.”
The Qatari grant, which was to be divided into six monthly installments, is meant to stabilize the humanitarian crisis in Gaza by paying the salaries of Hamas officials and aiding impoverished sectors of Gazan society. It also includes an additional purchase of diesel fuel for the Gaza power plant in the amount of $10 million.
The IDF officer who was shot at was evacuated to Beerhsheba’s Soroka Medical Center for treatment.
During a riot, five Palestinians attempted to storm the border fence. Two of them succeeded in infiltrating Israeli territory before retreating back into the Strip.
The Gaza health ministry identified the dead Hamas member as 24-year-old Mahmoud Abed al-Nabahin. Hamas’s Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades wrote on its website that al-Nabahin was a “fighter” who was “martyred” by Israel.