UAE, other countries pledge $15 million per month to Gaza
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UAE, other countries pledge $15 million per month to Gaza

Deal announced as Hamas delegation returns from Cairo; funds to be under Egypt's supervision

Dov Lieber is The Times of Israel's Arab affairs correspondent.

Palestinian supporters of dismissed senior Fatah leader Mohammed Dahlan shout slogans during a protest in Gaza City on December 18, 2014. (AFP/Mohammed Abed)
Palestinian supporters of dismissed senior Fatah leader Mohammed Dahlan shout slogans during a protest in Gaza City on December 18, 2014. (AFP/Mohammed Abed)

The United Arab Emirates and other unnamed donor countries agreed to provide $15 million a month to Gaza to improve conditions in the embattled Strip, Palestinian official Samir Al-Mashharawi said.

It was the latest show of cooperation between terror group Hamas and exiled Fatah lawmaker Mohammad Dahlan, who currently resides in the UAE.

Dahlan is the intra-party rival of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, who exiled him in 2011.

Mashharawi announced the existence of the $15 million monthly aid deal in an interview with the Egyptian daily Al-Youm Al-Saba on Thursday.

“Fifteen-million dollars will be pumped monthly starting next month to the Palestinian Joint Liability Committee… in support of relief, humanitarian and development projects in the Gaza Strip to alleviate their suffering,” he said.

Mashharawi said the money will be under the supervision and custody of Egypt.

Palestinian children play amidst the ruins of a building destroyed during the 50-day war between Israel and Hamas militants during the summer of 2014 in Gaza City, on April 13, 2017. (Mohammed Abed/AFP)
Palestinian children play amidst the ruins of a building destroyed during the 50-day war between Israel and Hamas militants during the summer of 2014 in Gaza City, on April 13, 2017. (Mohammed Abed/AFP)

The committee was established in the wake of agreements between Dahlan and Hamas, reached in early July in Cairo.

The committee will be run by Dahlan associate and Fatah lawmaker Majed Abu Shammala, Mashharawi said.

Mashharawi also said the committee spoke with Egyptian officials about permanently opening the Rafah Crossing into Egypt in the coming weeks.

On Wednesday Hamas’s Gaza chief, Yahya Sinwar, told reporters that Egypt has agreed to open the Rafah border crossing after the Eid al-Adha Holiday, which will begin at the end of August.

Chief of the Hamas terror group in Gaza Yahya Sinwar (C-L) visits the border with Egypt, in the southern Gaza Strip city of Rafah, on July 6, 2017. (AFP Photo/Said Khatib)
Chief of the Hamas terror group in Gaza Yahya Sinwar (C-L) visits the border with Egypt, in the southern Gaza Strip city of Rafah, on July 6, 2017. (AFP Photo/Said Khatib)

The Rafah crossing opened for exits this week for the first time since March. When Rafah is closed, only a limited number among the nearly two million residents of Gaza can travel out of the Strip through Israel.

Dahlan and Hamas were once bitter rivals, when the former was responsible for the PA security forces in the Gaza Strip.

Hamas took over the Strip in a violent battle in 2007.

The Hamas-Dahlan reconciliation process began soon after Abbas started to enact a series of harsh measures in March against the Gaza Strip aimed at forcing Hamas to cede power in the enclave.

Those measures have included reductions in support payments for electricity, medical aid and governmental salaries for residents of the Strip.

AFP contributed to this report.

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