Photo Credit: Abed Rahim Khatib/Flash90
Trucks loaded with goods enter the Gaza Strip from the Kerem Shalom crossing, May 12, 2019.

The National Committee for the Reconstruction of Gaza on Monday announced the start—at 10 AM—of distribution of cash assistance to poor families in the Strip, to the tune of $100 per family, Ma’an reported.

According to the National Committee, the disbursement will cover all aid beneficiaries, and estimated 108,000 families, in alphabetical order, through local post offices.

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The disbursement catches the Gaza Strip poor on a day with a low exchange rate for the dollar against the Israeli shekel: only 3.57 shekel per dollar, which translates into only about 3.3 shekel in cash.

The head of the Qatari committee, Mohammed al-Emadi, arrived in the Gaza Strip early Monday to supervise the aid payments. No date has been set yet for the payment of Hamas government employees’ salaries.

Last week, Qatar announced it would transfer $180 million to the Gaza Strip and $300 million to the Palestinian Authority.

The coordinator of the Middle East peace process arriving in the Gaza Strip Monday morning:

Nickolay Mladenov, the coordinator of the Middle East peace process, also arrived in the Gaza Strip Monday morning, via the Erez crossing. According to AFP, he plans to meet with several Hamas leaders to firm up establishing vital projects in Gaza within the framework of the truce with Israel and the Qatari funds.

Mladenov and United Nations officials have been laboring in recent months on a deal with Israel to ease the blockade on Gaza in return for Hamas guarantees for quiet.

“I hope that all sides will play their roles in order not to collapse the truce agreements in the coming days,” Mladenov told a news conference on Monday. He expressed his wish that everyone involved would understand that any confrontation could lead to catastrophic results.

“No party wants to invoke a war because this would bring destruction to Israelis and Palestinians,” he said.

Israel has already begun to implement the understandings with Hamas by extending the Gaza fishing zone to 15 nautical miles last Friday and on Sunday opening the Erez crossing to people and the Kerem Shalom crossing to goods. Both crossings had been closed during last week’s military conflict.

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