The United Nations expects that Qatar will continue to provide funds to support aid projects in the Gaza Strip in 2020, Jamie McGoldrick, the international body’s deputy special coordinator to the Middle East peace process, said on Wednesday.
The senior UN diplomat made the comment a day after al-Akhbar, a pro-Hezbollah newspaper based in Lebanon, cited unnamed sources in the Hamas terror group as saying that Qatari envoy Mohammed al-Emadi had informed members of the Palestinian factions in late October of the “difficulty of renewing the [Qatari] grant” to Gaza, starting at the beginning of 2020.
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“From what I have heard, Qatar has not committed its budget for Gaza for 2020 yet,” McGoldrick told The Times of Israel. “But we expect [its] support to continue into Gaza.”
In the past year, Qatar has provided tens of millions of dollars to the coastal enclave for fuel to run the territory’s sole power plant, small grants for impoverished Palestinian families, a UN-supervised temporary employment program, and other projects.
According to Hamas sources who spoke to al-Akhbar, the Qatari grant has amounted to $30 million in aid to Gaza monthly.
Hamas officials have said that Qatar agreed to provide the funds to Gaza as part of unofficial ceasefire understandings between Israel and terror groups in the Strip.
McGoldrick added that Doha’s support for Gaza has played a key role in improving the humanitarian situation there.
“Their contributions, in particular for improving the energy situation and creating temporary employment, have been critical to improving the overall situation on the ground and alleviating the dire conditions,” he said.
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