The cash grant of 5.5 million US dollars was to be distributed to 55,000 families all over the coastal sliver, with each receiving 100 dollars, according to a statement released by the Hamas-run Ministry of Social Development on Monday.
Thousands of Palestinians could be seen queuing early at post offices across the Gaza Strip. The Qatari ambassador to Palestine, Mohammed al-Ammadi, observed the distribution of financial aid to impoverished families in the enclave, Presstv Reported.
“I am here to receive $100, but $100 does not solve the crisis,” 40-year-old Bassam Khalil Jaber said.
He added, “We need permanent solutions, and this grant is a temporary solution.”
On January 24, Hamas turned down Qatari funds over Israel’s change of conditions due to the unrest along the Gaza border.
“We refuse to receive the third Qatari grant in response to the (Israeli) Occupation's behavior and attempts to evade the agreement,” the deputy Hamas leader in Gaza, Khalil al-Hayya, told journalists at the time.
Qatar has delivered $15 million a month into the Gaza Strip under an informal agreement struck last November. The funds to pay salaries of Hamas employees and support impoverished Gazans are in exchange for relative calm along the border fence between the strip and the Israeli-occupied territories.
Hayya did not elaborate on the specific conditions that were changed, but said Israel was playing politics with the funds ahead of upcoming legislative elections, scheduled for April 9.
The third aid tranche had been expected to enter the Gaza Strip in late January, but Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu blocked it on January 22 after an Israeli soldier was slightly injured near the fence.
Palestinians have held weekly protests on the Gaza border to protest the siege on the enclave and demand the right for refugees to return to their homes they fled during the 1948 creation of Israel.
Nearly 270 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces ever since anti-occupation protest rallies began in the Gaza Strip on March 30, 2018. Over 26,000 Palestinians have also sustained injuries.
The Gaza clashes reached their peak on May 14 last year, on the eve of the 70th anniversary of Nakba Day (Day of Catastrophe), which coincided this year with the US embassy relocation from Tel Aviv to occupied East Jerusalem al-Quds.
On June 13, 2018, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution, sponsored by Turkey and Algeria, which condemned Israel for Palestinian civilian deaths in the Gaza Strip.
The resolution, which had been put forward on behalf of Arab and Muslim countries, garnered a strong majority of 120 votes in the 193-member assembly, with 8 votes against and 45 abstentions.
The resolution called on UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres to make proposals within 60 days “on ways and means for ensuring the safety, protection, and well-being of the Palestinian civilian population under Israeli occupation,” including “recommendations regarding an international protection mechanism.”
It also called for “immediate steps towards ending the closure and the restrictions imposed by Israel on movement and access into and out of the Gaza Strip.”