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UN envoy to Mideast warns of war between Israel, Hamas

AP  |  Gaza City(Gaza Strip) 

The U.N. to the Mideast said Monday that the recent ceasefire between Gaza's rulers and was the "last chance" to prevent an all-out conflict.

A Qatari arrived the same day in the Palestinian enclave with cash to help cement the truce, which halted the worst round of fighting between the two sides in years.

After a spate of violence killed 25 Palestinians, including 15 civilians, as well as four Israeli civilians earlier this month, Nickolay Mladenov, the U.N. diplomat, said he hopes all parties see that "the risk of war remains imminent."

Mladenov, inaugurating a solar power plant for a hospital, said the parties must "consolidate the understandings" of the cease-fire.

He said "the next escalation is going to be probably the last one" before the sides descend into a full-fledged war.

The latest bout of fighting was the worst since a deadly and destructive war between and in 2014. It ended with a cease-fire brokered by and helped by the U.N. and

The most recent ceasefire deal promises to let fuel and humanitarian aid into Gaza, as well as ease the movement of people from the blockaded territory. Among its terms is a program to create jobs for thousands of graduates.

Unemployment in Gaza, which has been under an Israeli-Egyptian blockade since the militant group seized power 12 years ago, is over 50 per cent.

Qatari arrived in with a USD 30 million cash infusion meant for tens of thousands of needy families as part of the cease-fire understandings. Hours later, beneficiaries lined up outside post offices to cash the $100 checks.

Mohammed Abu Eida, 30, stood in the queue, a pair of crutches propping him up as he recovers from an

"We want them to lift the siege so we can work. I have rent for my home and I'm married and have a daughter; what is USD100? It's insufficient."

The oil-rich country stepped up its financial support to last year in order to defuse tensions that have mounted and, in several cases, erupted into cross-border fighting, after Hamas launched weekly protests along the Gaza-perimeter fence.

had previously provided millions of dollars for Hamas government salaries, but, after Israeli protestations over funds going to the militant group, the money now goes to relief operations.

Since 2012, has financed over USD750 million in housing, infrastructure projects and relief operations in the Though doesn't pay directly to Hamas, which the and the classify as a terrorist organization, the cash infusions relieve Hamas from having to fund such vital projects.

Last week, Qatar pledged another payment of million to the Palestinians, but this time shifted most of it USD 300 million to Hamas' rival in the West Bank: Palestinian Mahmoud Abbas's party-run

This support for Abbas's government, which is also engulfed in a severe financial crisis, situates Qatar as a in both Gaza and for reconciliation talks between and Hamas.

Meanwhile, the refugee agency, UNRWA, has warned that for more than half of Gaza's population "will be severely challenged" if the agency doesn't get at least USD60m in additional funding by June.

UNRWA said that it provides food among other services like education and health care to more than 1 million Palestinians in Gaza, including some 620,000 of "those who cannot cover their and who have to survive on USD1.6 per day.

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

First Published: Mon, May 13 2019. 20:06 IST