Qatar Pledges Total of $480 Million to PA, Hamas
The emir of Qatar has authorized the transfer of a total of $480 million to the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank, and Hamas in the Gaza Strip. Doha has allocated some $300 million in order to alleviate Ramallah’s deepening financial crisis, while the additional funds have been earmarked for humanitarian projects, primarily in Gaza. “This honorable decision is a continuation of the unwavering Qatari stances that support the Palestinian people politically and financially, in addition to defending Palestinian rights on international platforms,” Hamas political chief Ismael Haniyeh wrote in a statement. Doha’s announcement follows the most serious military confrontation between Israel and Gaza-based Palestinian terror groups since the 50-day war in the summer of 2014. During 48 hours of fierce fighting, the Israeli military struck over 300 targets in the blockaded enclave, from which Hamas and Islamic Jihad fired about 700 rockets at the Jewish state. International mediators managed to restore a tentative clam, having reportedly brokered a loose cease-fire between the sides. However, many analysts have equated the truce to placing a band-aid on a gaping wound, as the core issues responsible for the repeated flare-ups by most accounts have not been resolved. Still others note that Iran may have ordered its proxy Islamic Jihad to initiate the hostilities so as to divert the IDF’s attention away from Tehran’s ongoing effort to militarize Syria, a strategic endeavor the mullahs are not expected to give up anytime soon.