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Qatar envoy lands in Gaza to ease Israel-Hamas tensions

Flames and smokes rise after Israeli warplanes carried out airstrikes over Jabalia neighborhood in Gaza Strip, on 15 January 2020. [Ali Jadallah - Anadolu Agency]
Smoke and flames rise after Israel carried out air strikes in Gaza City, Gaza on 15 January 2020 [Ali Jadallah/Anadolu Agency]

A Qatari delegation entered Gaza last night for negotiations to end Israel's escalating attacks against Hamas' infrastructure and agricultural land in the Gaza Strip.

According to Hebrew-language outlet Maariv, Palestinian sources within the enclave hope the visit will calm tensions after Israeli occupation forces carried out strikes in Gaza for over ten days, claiming that they are in response to incendiary balloons which Palestinians fly towards Israel.

The Palestinian resistance in Gaza reached understandings with Israel mediated by the UN, Egypt and Qatar that included easing of the Israeli siege and allowing international donors to carry out vital projects and job-creation programmes.

Palestinians in Gaza say Israel backtracked from its commitments.

Qatar's Ambassador Mohammed El-Emadi arrived last night as part of the Gulf state's delegation with $30 million to help the territory of almost two million people.

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 13-year-long air, land and sea blockade imposed by Israel.

Qatar: 'We face obstacles to send assistance to Gaza'

The poverty rate among Gaza's population has reached 53 per cent, while "extreme poverty" stands at 33.8 per cent, according to statistics from the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS).

In a press release last week, Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum blamed the Israeli occupation for ongoing tensions, pointing to the Israeli siege and daily bombings of farms and resistance sites.

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