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Qatari cash reaches Gaza in campaign to ease tensions

AFP  |  Gaza City 

Palestinian civil servants formed long queues in on Friday to receive Qatari-funded salaries, as part of efforts to ease tensions in and around the impoverished territory.

A total of USD 90 million is to be distributed in six monthly instalments of USD 15 million, according to authorities, primarily to cover salaries of officials working for Hamas, the Islamist movement that rules the Palestinian enclave.

Some exited post offices, where the first instalment was being distributed, to show off hundred-dollar bills before the cameras, after several months of sporadic salary payments in cash-strapped

The cash was driven into the Palestinian enclave through late Thursday by Qatar's to Gaza, Mohammad al-Emadi, according to a government source in

has also said it would hand out $100 to each of 50,000 poor families, as well as larger sums to Palestinians wounded in clashes along Gaza's border with

The Israeli-authorised money transfer appeared to be part of a deal that would see cash-strapped end months of often violent protests along the border in exchange for easing its blockade of Gaza.

Senior expressed the discontent of the West Bank-based over the deal.

Emadi had "smuggled the money" into Gaza in suitcases like a "gangster", the said.

"The PLO did not agree to the deal facilitating the money to that way," Majdalani, who is close to Palestinian Mahmud Abbas, told AFP.

Such a deal harmed Egyptian efforts to reconcile and the PA and would allow the Islamist movement to consolidate its control over Gaza, Majdalani said.

Hamas has controlled Gaza since ousting forces loyal to the internationally recognised PA in a near civil war in 2007.

Israeli criticised the Qatari money transfer to Gaza.

"This is capitulation to terrorism, and in effect Israel is buying short-term calm with money, while severely undermining long-term security," he said, quoted in newspaper on Friday.

In another Israeli-approved deal, has started buying additional fuel for Gaza's sole power station, allowing planned outages to be reduced to their lowest level in recent years.

and the have been brokering indirect negotiations for a long-term truce with Israel, with which Hamas has fought three wars since 2008.

Deadly clashes have accompanied the major protests along the Gaza border with Israel that began on March 30, generating at times fears of a new war between the Jewish state and the strip's militant rulers.

At least 220 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli fire, the majority shot during protests and clashes, while others have died in tank fire or air strikes.

One Israeli soldier was killed by a Palestinian sniper.

Israel says its actions are necessary to defend the border and stop infiltrations and attacks, which it accuses Hamas of seeking to orchestrate.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Fri, November 09 2018. 19:25 IST