Sunday, January 31, 2021

  • Sunday, January 31, 2021
  • Elder of Ziyon

Qatar has announced that it will provide $30 million a month to Gaza for all of 2021, a total of $360 million in aid.

While the aid is generally earmarked for needy families and fuel for Gaza's power plant, part of it is also for paying Gaza employee salaries - meaning that it helps prop up Hamas.

Israel has been allowing this aid for years, walking a tightrope between helping Hamas and staving off a Gaza economic collapse.

Now that the Gulf states are resuming relations with Qatar, there are more tightropes being navigated.


The Palestinian Authority has been feeling marginalized after Israel forged relations with Gulf Arab states and wants to improve its own relations with Qatar. Mahmoud Abbas visited Qatar in December in a bid for some of those millions to be directed towards the Palestinian Authority. 

For its part, Qatar sees itself as a potential broker for peace between Hamas and Fatah and wants to assert its influence that way. Its cooperation with Israel on aid to Gaza also positions it in a unique way to show its importance in the region.

Israel's allowance of Qatari aid to Gaza has not been without strings attached, either. Last summer Israel blocked Qatari aid as long as Gaza groups were launching firebombs via balloons from Gaza. Note that those balloon launches seem to have halted. 

There are a lot of moving parts going on, between the Abraham Accords, the thawing of relations between Qatar and its neighbors, the new Biden administration and its desire to return to the JCPOA. The Palestinian issue still grabs headlines but it is not clear at all that anyone really cares about Palestinians besides in how they can profit from anti-Israel rhetoric - which is not nearly as effective as it was a year ago. 






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