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PM vows to not return to system of ‘suitcases of cash’ to Gaza

Palestinians receive financial aid as part of $480 million allocated for assistance by Qatar, at a post office in Gaza City on May 19, 2019. (Abed Rahim Khatib/Flash90)
Palestinians receive financial aid as part of $480 million allocated for assistance by Qatar, at a post office in Gaza City on May 19, 2019. (Abed Rahim Khatib/Flash90)

The Prime Minister’s Office denies Hebrew media reports that it plans to return to the “suitcases of cash” system by which Qatari funds were delivered to the Gaza Strip.

Hamas demands the millions in monthly salaries, provided by Qatar, as payments for its civil servants in Gaza. Qatar, Israel, and the United Nations have agreed on transferring other subsidies Qatar provides, including $100 cash payments for 100,000 poor Gazan families.

But the parties have yet to agree on a new mechanism for transferring Qatari funds to Hamas employees. Israel’s new government has said it does not intend to allow Qatar to channel cash directly to Hamas, as was policy under former prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

The PMO says that, contrary to today’s reports, “there will be no return to the previous system,” and that Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and Defense Minister Benny Gantz are currently weighing new options after the Palestinian Authority backed out of the deal on Friday.

“When a proper outline is found that ensures that the money does not go to terrorist activities, it will be presented by the defense minister to the prime minister,” says the PMO. “The prime minister will formulate a position after he is presented with the various options.”

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