Hamas on Sunday began to distribute millions of dollars in monthly payments from money provided by Qatar.
Approximately 60,000 families in Gaza will receive $100, which can be a 25% addition to the monthly income for some Gazan families.
Some 800 – 1,000 of the families receiving the funds belong to the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, Hamas’ military wing. Hamas also intends to provide funds to families that are not on the list agreed upon with Israel.
A source inside the Strip told TPS that the money was secretly brought into Gaza on Thursday in 11 suitcases, each containing $1 million. A Qatari delegation led by Deputy Ambassador Khaled Hardan was responsible for the transfer.
The entry of the money into Gaza was concealed from the media. The delegation was supposedly in Gaza to examine a new electric line project for the Strip.
The transfer of the funds was coordinated between Israel and Qatar and agreed upon by Hamas. It was done silently in an attempt to prevent public criticism in Israel of the move on the eve of another election, the source told TPS.
Many in Israel oppose the transfer of Qatari funds to Gaza and believe it empowers Hamas and may even fund terrorism.
Another sum of four million will be distributed for other purposes, leftovers from last month’s transfer from Qatar, and a total of $15 million will be distributed in Gaza.
Qatar has recently pledged $480 million in financial support for the Palestinian Authority. Some $180 million were set aside for the Gaza Strip, to be paid out in 12 installments of $15 million every month. The funds are meant to be used to pay salaries and for welfare.