Tuesday, January 8, 2019

After rocket fire, Israel asks Qatar to pause cash transfer to Hamas - Nikki Guttman, Daniel Siryoti, Lilach Shoval and Israel Hayom Staff

by Nikki Guttman, Daniel Siryoti, Lilach Shoval and Israel Hayom Staff

Funds won't be transferred this week; still unclear if they will be transferred next week, senior Palestinian official tells Israel Hayom

Israel has asked Qatar to delay its monthly disbursement of $15 million to the Gaza Strip, a senior Palestinian official told Israel Hayom on Monday, after a rocket was fired from the coastal enclave at Ashkelon, on Israel's southern coast, overnight Sunday.

The funds would not be transferred this week and it still wasn't clear if they would be transferred next week, the Palestinian official said.

"Israel sent a message to Qatar that it would not allow the money transfer to Gaza, because Hamas was not honoring the cease-fire understandings and permitting incendiary balloons and rocket fire," the official said.

Later on Monday, however, Channel 10 News reported that Qatar and the United Nations envoy to the Middle East, Nickolay Mladenov, told Hamas that the money would enter the Gaza Strip within two days.

According to the report, which cited news outlets affiliated with Hamas, the terrorist group was informed that the Qatari money would reach Gaza provided the organization did not escalate the security situation.

In response to the rocket attack, the IDF struck two Hamas targets in the northern Gaza Strip early Monday morning.

The rocket was intercepted by the Iron Dome defense system and sirens were sounded throughout the city and the Ashkelon Regional Council. No injuries were reported.

On Sunday, IDF helicopters attacked two Hamas military positions in Gaza after a drone-shaped incendiary device launched from Gaza landed inside the Sdot Negev Regional Council in southern Israel.

Qatar began making the monthly money transfers to Gaza last year as a way of mitigating the ongoing humanitarian crisis the residents of Gaza are enduring.

According to understandings reached with Egypt and Israel, Doha will transfer a total of $90 million in aid funds to Gaza.

Israeli officials stressed that the funds were ‎earmarked solely for civilian functionaries' wages.‎

The first cash infusion was made in November. At the ‎time, Qatar's official news agency said the funds ‎‎would ‎benefit over 60,000 public servants hired by ‎Hamas ‎since 2007.

Nikki Guttman, Daniel Siryoti, Lilach Shoval and Israel Hayom Staff

Source: http://www.israelhayom.com/2019/01/08/after-rocket-fire-israel-asks-qatar-to-pause-cash-transfer-to-hamas/

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