Qatar to pay salaries of Gaza's public sector workers
In remarks quoted by the state news agency QNA, the Qatari emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani said the payment of 113 million riyals ($30 million) was meant to "alleviate the suffering of the brothers in (the Gaza) Strip and (ease) the severe financial hardship they are facing due to the unjust blockade imposed by the Israeli occupation."
The sum will cover on month's worth of salaries for public sector employees in Gaza, the Israeli- and Egyptian-blockaded Palestinian coastal enclave ruled by Islamist movement Hamas.
Gaza has been subjected to a stringent Israeli blockade since 2006, with construction materials tightly controlled for fear militants could make use of them to forge arms or build fortifications, as Israel alleges.
However, this has caused immense suffering in the Strip where thousands have been left homeless by Israeli airstrikes in 2014.
|Hamas has technically handed power to the unity government but it remains in de facto control of Gaza
Hamas hired more than 40,000 people after it seized Gaza in 2007 following deadly clashes with militants of Fatah, the party of Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas.
But after a reconciliation deal with Abbas that led to the formation of a West Bank-based national unity government in June 2014, Hamas relinquished responsibility for paying salaries.
Hamas has technically handed power to the unity government but it remains in de facto control of Gaza.
Abbas’ West Bank-based Palestinian Authority initially refused to pay the workers.
Qatar's donation was welcomed by Hamas but there was no immediate comment from Palestinian Authority or Israel, who have long been suspicious of Qatar's regular donations to Hamas.
"The July payment will be made in full immediately once the Qatari financial fund is received," Hamas' deputy finance minister, Youssef al-Kayyali said in remarks carried by Reuters agency.