Qatar to Distribute Funds in Gaza to Hamas Supporters

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AP/Mohammad Hannon

(AFP) — Gulf state Qatar is set to distribute more than $10 million in aid to thousands of cash-strapped Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, a Qatari official said on Monday.

The money was brought into the Hamas-controlled enclave Sunday evening by the Qatari ambassador to Gaza and is expected to be distributed Monday or Tuesday, the official said on condition of anonymity.

More than 100,000 families will each receive payments of $100, he added.

Disbursement of the funds from post offices had yet to begin Monday lunchtime.

Another 15 million dollars would be provided for infrastructure and cash-for-work projects, the official said.

Qatar, a rare Hamas ally in the Middle East, has been providing millions in monthly aid to Gaza since November.

The money is part of an informal agreement between Islamists Hamas and Israel that is supposed to ensure calm in exchange for an easing of the Jewish state’s crippling blockade of Gaza.

Hamas and Israel have fought three wars since 2008.

Despite the informal agreement, the two sides nearly returned to war in early May as Hamas and its allies fired hundreds of rockets at Israel during a two-day flareup.

Around 80 percent of Palestinians in impoverished Gaza are reliant on international aid, according to the United Nations.

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