The Palestinian Authority's (PA) banking and humanitarian systems are refusing to take part in an outline to facilitate the transfer of Qatari aid money into the Gaza Strip, fearing such cooperation would expose them to legal actions on the grounds of supporting and funding terrorism, Palestinian sources told Ynet on Thursday.
According to “the Memorandum of Understanding between the State of Palestine through the Ministry of Social Development and the Qatari Foreign Ministry through the Gaza Rehabilitation Committee,” the PA has agreed to transfer Qatari funds through banks subject to the supervision of the Palestinian Monetary Fund according to a list of names compiled by the Qatari side.
The transfers will take place using ATM cards bearing the bank’s logo and will include assistance to 100,000 beneficiaries from poor families as well as 27,695 other beneficiaries, most of whom are Hamas officials.
After the funds are transferred to the Palestinian banks, the PA will issue magnetic cards that will be recharged each month with $100 and these will be handed over to the poor families in the Gaza Strip.
The parties agreed that the beneficiaries will be paid according to an agreed replacement mechanism, without deducting fees.
The reason for the finalization of the outline being delayed, according to the sources, is that officials in the PA's banking system worry that the agreement will make them open to lawsuits.
The Palestine Monetary Authority (PMA) on Thursday issued an official statement, stating that Palestinian banks are not involved in the transfer of funds.
Feras Milhem, governor and chairman of the PMA, possibly alluded to this legal issue when he clarified that the organization is committed to international standards of practice.
Following the 11-days of fighting between Israel and Palestinian terror groups in May, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett wanted to establish a new mechanism for the entry of aid to the seaside enclave, arguing that lack of oversight allows money to further boost the groups' military capabilities.
Hamas in turn continues to pressure all parties involved to allow the funds to enter Gaza as quickly as possible, threatening to resume violence if not.
TPS contributed to this article.