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Qatar offers $9 million in emergency aid to Gaza

Palestinians, in particular the elderly, sick and disabled, come together to call for international efforts to save Gaza from the humanitarian crisis [Mohammed Asad/Middle East Monitor]

The head of Qatar’s national committee for the reconstruction of Gaza, Ambassador Mohammed Al-Emadi, said on Thursday that the Emir of Qatar has given instructions to provide emergency aid to the besieged Gaza Strip worth $9 million. “This will help [the Palestinians] in Gaza amidst the deteriorating humanitarian conditions due to the acute shortage of medicines, hospital fuel and basic foodstuff,” he confirmed.

The Ambassador explained that he will visit the occupied Palestinian territories later this month to implement the Emir’s directives and to coordinate the distribution mechanism of the Qatari grant. “The aid is mainly support for the health sector by providing and purchasing medicines, medical supplies and fuel needed to operate electric generators in hospitals, in addition to providing basic foodstuffs,” he added. During his visit to Gaza, Ambassador Al-Emadi will inaugurate projects implemented by the Qatari Committee.

Earlier on Thursday afternoon, the Emir of Qatar spoke via telephone to the head of the Hamas political bureau, Ismail Haniyeh. The Qatari News Agency said Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al-Thani was briefed during the call on the critical humanitarian conditions of the besieged people in Gaza and about the lack of fuel, which has caused the closure of several hospitals and clinics in the enclave.

Read: Power crisis brings Gaza to ‘verge of disaster’

The Emir apparently stressed to the Hamas leader Doha’s continuing support for the Palestinian people and the reconstruction projects in Gaza. This is the first contact between Shaikh Tamim and Haniyeh since the US Treasury placed the former Palestinian Prime Minister on its list of “specially designated global terrorists” at the end of January.

For several years, Qatar has been implementing projects to rehabilitate infrastructure and roads in Gaza as well as other projects at a cost of nearly half a billion US dollars. The Gaza Strip, where more than 2 million Palestinians live, suffers from deteriorating conditions due to the 11-year Israeli-led blockade and the stalled reconciliation process between Fatah and Hamas.

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