עמר בר לב
Public Security Minister Omer Barlev
Photo: Moti Kimchi
Gaza official holds up several hundred dollar bills to be disbursed to Gaza civilians as part of Qatari aid package

Israel wants voucher system for foreign aid to Gaza, police minister says

Omer Barlev says PM wants a shift in policy, meant to act as a safeguard against donations being diverted to bolster the Palestinian enclave's Hamas rulers and their weapons arsenal

Reuters |
Published: 07.13.21, 13:58
Israel wants foreign aid to Gaza disbursed through a voucher system, as a safeguard against donations being diverted to bolster the Palestinian enclave's Hamas rulers and their arsenal, Public Security Minister Omer Barlev said on Tuesday.
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  • Humanitarian agencies put the latest reconstruction costs for the impoverished Gaza Strip at $500 million following 11 days of cross-border fighting in May.
    3 צפייה בגלריה
    חלוקת המענק הקטארי
    חלוקת המענק הקטארי
    Gaza official holds up several hundred dollar bills to be disbursed to Gaza civilians as part of Qatari aid package
    Qatar bankrolled more than $1 billion worth of construction and other projects in Gaza, some of it in cash, after a war in 2014. The payments were monitored and approved by Israel, and Doha pledged another $500 million in late May.
    Prime Minister Naftali Bennett wants a shift in policy, Barlev said.
    "The Qatari money for Gaza will not go in as suitcases full of dollars which end up with Hamas, where Hamas, in essence, takes for itself and its officials a significant part of it," he told Army Radio.
    He said Bennett envisaged "a mechanism where what will go in, in essence, would be food vouchers, or vouchers for humanitarian aid, and not cash that can be taken and used for developing weaponry to be wielded against the State of Israel".
    3 צפייה בגלריה
    עמר בר לב
    עמר בר לב
    Public Security Minister Omer Barlev
    (Photo: Moti Kimchi)
    Hamas, which has previously denied using Gaza aid for its military, did not immediately comment.
    Mohammed Al-Emadi, the Qatari aid envoy to Gaza, could not immediately be reached for comment.
    A Palestinian official said: "Nothing is final yet."
    Barlev said the proposed aid mechanism should run mainly through the United Nations. He did not rule out continued donations from Qatar, and raised a possibility of European Union assistance.
    3 צפייה בגלריה
    Official disburses Qatari aid money to Gaza civilians at a local postal bank
    Official disburses Qatari aid money to Gaza civilians at a local postal bank
    Official disburses Qatari aid money to Gaza civilians at a local postal bank
    (Photo: Reuters)
    "Should the mechanism be like this, I have no doubt that Israel would help in the improvement of the humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip," he said.
    The EU, the United States and some other countries have designated Hamas as a terrorist organization.
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