Reports: Hamas to Resume Violence Unless Qatari Funds Delivered to Gaza
Hamas has reportedly threatened to resume violent protests along the Gaza-Israel border unless Jerusalem greenlights the transfer into the Gaza Strip of tens of millions of dollars provided by Qatar. According to local media, the blockaded enclave’s rulers have given the Israeli government a two-week deadline, failing which the armed group will begin dispatching units to penetrate the shared border with a view to perpetrating attacks on surrounding Israeli communities. The head of the Qatari Gaza Reconstruction Committee, Mohammad al-Emadi, was expected to travel to Gaza this week to distribute some $150 million in financial aid, although he has reportedly canceled the visit due to unknown circumstances. It is nevertheless possible that at least some of the funds could be transferred to Gazans via other intermediaries. It comes as various factions in Gaza have warned of a renewal of weekly border demonstrations known as the “Great March of Return,” which began in early 2018 and extended for over a year. The protests, which invariably descended into violence, were suspended amid ongoing diplomatic efforts to forge a long-elusive long-term ceasefire between Israel and Hamas. More than 200 Palestinians are believed to have been killed during the rallies.