Qatar may cease its provision of funding and aid to the Gaza Strip in 2020, a report by the Lebanese Al Akhbar newspaper claims.
The paper, which is linked to and affiliated with the Iranian-backed Hezbollah militant group based in Lebanon, quoted Hamas officials who revealed that the Qatari envoy Mohammed El-Emadi informed the party and others in Gaza that there were difficulties and complications in renewing the grant in 2020.
The Gaza Strip receives a monthly grant which amounts to $30 million, with the aim of providing aid to 109,000 Gazan families living in poverty as well as to pay for some fuel imports to the Strip which has been suffering from a 12-year-long air, land and sea blockade imposed by Israel.
The sources, however, said that the Hamas leadership believes that the grant will still be renewed due to its connections with the Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani and more importantly the risk of a new escalation between the Strip and Israel if the funding ceases.
The concern over the unknown continuation of Qatar’s funding comes amid talk among Israeli officials and political figures of a campaign of assault on Gaza and plans to target Hamas leaders recently, a tactic long used by Israel to curb the influence of the party. Some, like Blue and White (Kahol Lavan) party leader Benny Gantz, have given support to the idea while Israel’s security cabinet has rejected the method due to the unpredictability of its outcome.