Qatar pays salaries in Gaza; Israeli troops kill a Palestinian, 37 injured

GAZA – On Friday impoverished Palestinian officials in the impoverished Gaza Strip financed $ 15 million from Qatari cash, which offered Hamas potential domestic compensation even though Israel said the money would not go to the dominant Islamist group.

On Friday, the Israeli army shot and killed a Palestinian and wounded 37 others on the border, said medical doctors from Gaza. The military said the troops were exposed to about 10,000 Palestinian demonstrators, some of whom threw grenades.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, a Hamas political rival in the occupied West Bank, has cut Gaza's budgets and spurned tens of thousands of government employees. This has contributed to half a year of bloody protests and occasional bombing across the border of Gaza, which is holding Israel under blockade.

Palestinian sources said Thursday's payment in Qatar would be the first of a total of $ 90 million that would go to Gaza in the next six months with Israel's approval.

The Israeli authorities had previously agreed that the Gulf-rich Arab Gulf State should donate materials for civil construction projects or fuel, and fears that more frugal donations could reach Hamas, which has fought three wars in a decade.

"One day I will not have any money to buy food or medicines for my children – and now I will buy food, medicines and clothes for them," said traffic cop Wael Abu Assi in front of a post office in Gaza City where people line up to draw their salaries

Hamas, known in the West as a terrorist group, has been banned for years by the Israeli occupation authorities and neighboring Egypt. Hamas leaders have said in the past that they have received funds from other countries, including Iran.

Qatar observers were present at all 12 post offices across Gaza to monitor salary payments. The employees had to present their identity card and be fingerprinted.

Doha's donations, as well as UN-Egyptian truce and winter rains, have contained violence at the border where medical workers from the Gaza Strip said that Israeli forces killed more than 220 Palestinians since protests began on March 30 to demand rights to lost land Israel in the war of its establishment of 1948.

Convoy stoned

Previously, Mohammed Al Emadi, a disaster relief man in Gaza, visited a site near the border fence. "Long live Qatar!" shouted some of the Palestinian youth. "Long live Gaza!" he answered.

But as the diplomat's convoy left, some teenagers threw rocks that shattered his bodyguard's car through a window-suggesting that not all Palestinians were satisfied with Qatar's intervention. The car of Al Emadi was intact.

The official news agency Qatar said the donated money would benefit 27,000 officials from over 40,000 Hamas-hired officials since 2007. The remainder would be paid by local revenue.

"They told me that they have no money for me," said a Reuters employee on the condition that he would not be named. "Maybe Israel rejected my name?"

Hamas, Qatar and Israeli officials have largely remained silent on the details of the Gaza disbursement agreement.

However, a member of right-wing Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the Security Cabinet, has downsized its importance.

"This is not the money used for Hamas activities, it is the money that will be used to pay officials' salaries in an orderly and organized way," said Environment Minister Zeev Elkin to Tel Aviv Radio Station 102.

Elkin accused Abbas whose peace talks with Netanyahu had stalled in 2014 and who boycotted the US for its pro-Israeli policy of cutting salaries to "inflame Gaza because it failed on other fronts."

"The Qataris came and said," We are ready to pay this instead of Abu Mazen [Abbas]to calm Gaza. & # 39; What does it matter who pays? "Said Elkin.

Wasel Abu Youssef, a member of the executive committee of the Abbas-led Palestine Liberation Organization, criticized the move. "Arrangements in Qatar and elsewhere are prolonging the Palestinian division's crisis," Abu Youssef told Reuters.

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