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Hamas says Turkey and Qatar are ready to help the Palestinians in virus crisis

March 23, 2020 at 12:15 pm

Hamas Political Bureau chief Ismail Haniyeh (L) and Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al-Thani in Doha, Qatar on 16 December 2019 [Twitter]

The Head of the Hamas Political Bureau announced on Sunday that Turkey and Qatar are ready to help the Palestinians in their fight against coronavirus.

“I have called several heads of state and officials,” explained Ismail Haniyeh, “namely Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Qatari Emir Tamim Bin Hamad Al-Thani who both pledged to support our people in their battle against this pandemic.”

Haniyeh added that Turkey and Qatar pledged material and financial assistance. In Erdogan’s case, this means “everything” that Turkey is able to do.

Hamas announced this morning that the Qatari Emir has pledged $150m for the Palestinians as part of its aid programmes, including those carried out by UNRWA.

READ: Haniyeh calls on Saudi King to release Palestinian detainees 

Meanwhile, Haniyeh added that Hamas and the Palestinian Authority have declared a state of emergency and formed a High Action Committee against Coronavirus to coordinate the official response. He called for an end to the Israeli-led siege, which has been in place for 14 years, warning that it will undermine efforts to curb the spread of the virus.

On Saturday evening, the Health Ministry in Gaza announced that two Palestinians had tested positive for coronavirus. The two were immediately put in a quarantine centre at the Rafah Crossing where they entered the coastal enclave from Egypt.