Qatari envoy Mohammed Al-Emadi recently said in closed-door meetings that Qatar does not intend to continue financing Gaza’s electricity after April, Kan 11 News reported on Monday, citing Palestinian Arab sources.
The reason for the move, according to the sources, is Qatar’s disappointment with the foot dragging on several major projects in Gaza.
Qatar had pledged to finance diesel fuel for the Gaza power plant for six months, and since last November has been transferring $10 million a month for this purpose, according to Kan. The supply of funds is due to end in April, and the Qatari envoy has indicated that it will not be extended beyond that.
At the same time, the Palestinian Arab sources estimated that Emadi’s message was intended to pressure the relevant elements in Gaza to accelerate the large-scale projects in the field of electricity. At the top of the list of projects is a high-voltage power line from Israel, which could double the amount of electricity to Gaza.
Under Emadi’s supervision, Qatar recently transferred cash to Gaza through Israel which was meant for the salaries of Hamas employees in the enclave.
Israel allowed two installments of the Qatari money, which was to have been distributed in six installments, to enter Gaza, but postponed the third last month following the shooting of an IDF soldier by a terrorist from Gaza.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and the Security Cabinet subsequently approved the transfer of the third installment, but Hamas refused to accept the money “in response to the occupation policy”.
Emadi subsequently announced his country will no longer fund salaries of Hamas employees in Gaza and would instead donate the remaining $60 million in aid mostly through United Nations programs.