Qatar has said it will send $480m to Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and the besieged Gaza Strip after a ceasefire deal ended the deadliest fighting between Israel and Palestinian factions since a 2014 Israeli assault on the enclave.
A statement from Qatar’s Foreign Ministry on Tuesday morning said $300m would support health and education programmes of the Ramallah-based Palestinian Authority (PA), which controls parts of the West Bank.
Meanwhile, $180m would go towards “urgent humanitarian relief” in aUnited Nations programmes and towards electricity.
Hamas’s political chief Ismail Haniya welcomed the move. In a statement, he thanked Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani.
“I express my thanks and gratitude to Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani and to the government and people of Qatar for this honourable move reflecting the generosity of Qatar,” Haniya said.
Israel and Gaza reach ceasefire agreement amid tense calm
The decision, he said, is a “continuation” of Qatar’s unwavering support of the Palestinian people.
The recent three-day surge of violence in the Gaza Strip and southern Israel has led to the deaths of at least 25 Palestinians and four Israelis.
A ceasefire deal was reached early on Monday, and no Israeli air raids on the Palestinian territory have been reported since the deal came into effect.
Hamas spokesman Hazem Qassem said Egyptian mediators, along with officials from Qatar and the UN, helped reach the ceasefire deal.
An Islamic Jihad official, on condition of anonymity, said the truce agreement was based on Israel easing its blockade of the Gaza Strip, which has been under a crippling Israeli-Egyptian siege since 2008.