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Saturday, May 25, 2024

Qatar comes to aid of resource deficient Palestinian government

Over the years Qatar has emerged as the lifeline for the Palestinian economy but now it might have some political implications as well.

News Analysis |

Qatar has announced an aid package worth $480 million for the Palestinians in both The West Bank and the Gaza strip where the unemployment and sea-blockade have turned the situation critical for the Palestinians. The funds are subjected to fulfill the health and education needs of the people along with humanitarian relief and provision of energy. The development came as a gust of fresh air for Palestinians who recently had to face the loss of 24 lives as a result from air strikes which were carried out in response to rockets being fired from the Gaza.

United Nations Secretary-General also hailed Qatar’s help in troubling times for the people of Palestine. Deputy Spokes Person of Secretary-General issued the statement which read, “The Secretary-General would like to acknowledge with much appreciation the recently announced support of Qatar to Palestine, which will be key in helping address economic and humanitarian needs of the Palestinian people.”

Around the time when President Donald Trump’s Middle East Plan, orchestrated by his son in law Jared Kushner is about to unravel, the aid coming from Qatar is necessary to have the backing from the United States.

Qatar has been pledging hefty funds for Palestine in the past as well which led to the construction of some of the key projects such as wastewater treatment plant to control the water pollution. In the past, a major source of funding for humanitarian and other projects came from the UN organizations but Trump Administration went on to cut the funding making the matters worst for Palestinian people. Since then, Qatar has by far been the largest donor in the cause which is keeping the Palestinian economy going.

From Rejecting to Welcoming the Qatari Aid

Gaza strip, which is controlled by Hamas since 2007, has been the center of violence in recent years where both Israel and Hamas believe each other for the escalation. Hamas’ leader Ismail Haniya praised the Qatari aid and said, “This honorable decision is a continuation of the unwavering Qatari stances that support the Palestinian people politically and financially, in addition to defending the Palestinian rights at international platforms”. Due to continuous fighting and lack of economic activity, nearly 50% of the population is unemployed. These funds will be used to carry out development projects which would create jobs for the people of Gaza.

Read more: Qatar announces $150 million aid to Gaza

Both Hamas and Israel have reached a ceasefire agreement after recent skirmish where more than 20 lives were collectively lost in both sides. The agreement calls for aid and development programs for Gaza, including increase supply of electricity since the region, is facing its chronic shortage. Currently, Hamas has welcomed the Qatari aid package but just 2 months back the group had declined to accept a sum of nearly $15 million coming from Qatar citing the conditions which Israel had placed for the transfer of money.

Hamas said that in exchange of aid package which is primarily the backbone for government to run its affairs, Israel wanted a calm on the frontiers as Palestinians protest in thousands close to the border with Israel. But that was before the Israeli elections where Prime Minister Benjamín Netanyahu neither wanted a prolonged confrontation with the Hamas neither wanted to be portrayed as too lenient by its rivals for giving out the money to Gaza.

Read more: Why the Trump administration’s Israeli-Palestinian peace plan shouldn’t be released

Middle East Plan and the Sour Ties Between Arab States

Around the time when President Donald Trump’s Middle East Plan, orchestrated by his son in law Jared Kushner is about to unravel, the aid coming from Qatar is necessary to have the backing from the United States. Due to the rift between Qatar and rest of the Gulf States, Saudi Arabia and UAE in particular, the aid which means a lot for the Palestinians, will also be having definite political implications which would unfold themselves in due course of time.