Israeli Prime Minister wants foreign aid in Gaza to run through vouchers: Minister | Gaza News


After 11 days of cross-border fighting in May, humanitarian agencies set the latest reconstruction cost of the impoverished Gaza Strip at $500 million.

A government minister said on Tuesday that Israel hopes to provide foreign aid to Gaza through the voucher system to prevent donations from being diverted to support the Hamas ruler and its arsenal in the Palestinian enclave.

After 11 days of cross-border fighting in May, humanitarian agencies set the latest reconstruction cost of the impoverished Gaza Strip at $500 million.

After a war in 2014, Qatar provided more than $1 billion in funding for construction and other projects in Gaza, some of which was in cash. These payments were supervised and approved by Israel, and Doha pledged to provide another $500 million at the end of May.

The new Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett wants to change policy, said Omar Barev, Minister of Internal Security.

“Qatar’s funds for Gaza will not enter Hamas as a suitcase full of dollars, and Hamas essentially takes up a large part of it for itself and its officials,” he told Israeli Army Radio.

He said that Bennett envisioned “a mechanism in which the content would essentially be food stamps or humanitarian aid vouchers, rather than cash that can be used to develop weapons against the State of Israel.”

Hamas previously denied using Gaza aid for its military, but did not immediately comment.

Mohammed al-Emadi, Qatar’s special envoy for assistance to Gaza, could not be immediately reached for comment.

A Palestinian official told Reuters: “Everything is still inconclusive.”

Barlev said that the proposed aid mechanism should be operated mainly through the United Nations. He did not rule out the possibility of Qatar continuing to donate, and proposed the possibility of EU assistance.

“If this is the mechanism, I have no doubt that Israel will help improve the humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip,” he said.

Some countries such as the European Union and the United States classify Hamas as a “terrorist” organization.





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