Qatar and Israel in Deal to Pay Salaries of Gaza Public Servants
Arab media is reporting that Israel and Qatar have reached an agreement whereby the rich Gulf State, known to have funded Hamas terror in the past, will be allowed to send money to the Gaza Strip as long as it is used solely to pay the long overdue salaries of the enclave’s public servants. Israel’s motivation for allowing the Qatari funding is the fear that Gaza is poised to explode under the stress of the growing humanitarian crisis that is being fanned by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. One of the sanctions he has imposed on Gazans as part of Abbas’s strategy of driving residents to throw its Hamas rulers out is to cut salaries of those who are supposed to be paid by the Hamas government. But observers believe the tactic has caused much suffering without any success. After Hamas seized control of the Gaza Strip from Fatah/Palestinian Authority in 2007, the Hamas rulers demanded that the PA continue to pay public workers. Abbas has refused to do so until Hamas returns control of Gaza to the PA. Despite its vow not to negotiate with terrorists [Hamas is on the U.S. State Department terror list – ed.] Israel has arguably been a better bargaining partner with Hamas than Fatah has.