$15M from Qatar to pay salaries in Gaza
GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip — Gaza’s Hamas rulers lauded on Friday what they described as a gain from the weekly border fence protests, which often have turned deadly, after receiving $15 million from Qatar to help pay the salaries of the territory’s civil servants.
“Today, we see some fruits of the protests — the partial breaking of the siege on Gaza,” Khalil al-Hayya, a senior Hamas official, told reporters at a protest in east Gaza City, referring to the grant. “We are still waiting for the implementation of all other understandings.”
Since March, the Islamic militant group has orchestrated weekly demonstrations along the fence, in large part against a blockade Israel and Egypt imposed when it seized Gaza in 2007.
Qatar, Egypt and the United Nations, acting as go-betweens for Hamas and Israel, intensified their shuttle diplomacy in recent weeks after a full-blown war between Hamas and Israel appeared imminent.
The Qatari grant is part of indirect Hamas-Israel agreements to improve living conditions for Gaza’s 2 million people and subsequently scale down the border protests, in which 170 Palestinians and an Israeli soldier have been killed since they began in March.
A Hamas government employee waits to receives 60 percent of his long-overdue salary Friday in Gaza City while others wait in line.