Israel suspended the transfer of payments from Qatar to Gaza families on Monday until further notice, according a report by Israel’s Channel 20 News.
For years, Qatar has been paying a monthly stipend of $100 to 1,000 needy Gaza families through an arrangement with the State of Israel.
Qatari envoy Mohammed al-Emadi arrived in the enclave this past Friday night, ostensibly to announce the timeline for the next payments, according to the Abu Ali news site. It’s not clear whether the envoy returned to Qatar.
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The decision to suspend the payments was made by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, allegedly in response to a rocket attack fired at southern Israel from Gaza. The attack was intercepted by Israel’s Iron Dome aerial defense system and the Israeli military carried out air strikes on Hamas targets in northern Gaza in retaliation.
However, the enclave’s ruling Hamas terrorist organization has apparently been deducting “fees” from each monthly payment. As a result, the families receive only the equivalent of $57.
Israel is reportedly suspending the payments to keep the money from reaching the hands of Hamas, which is backed by Iran.