Qatari envoy signs contracts for new projects in Gaza valued at $1.7m
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Qatari envoy signs contracts for new projects in Gaza valued at $1.7m

Doha’s Gaza Strip Reconstruction Committee says projects include work on future headquarters, a mosque in central Gaza and a fuel storage facility

Adam Rasgon is the Palestinian affairs reporter at The Times of Israel

Mohammed al-Emadi, chairman of Qatar's National Committee for the Reconstruction of Gaza, speaks at a press conference in Gaza City on January 25, 2019. (Mahmud Hams/AFP)
Mohammed al-Emadi, chairman of Qatar's National Committee for the Reconstruction of Gaza, speaks at a press conference in Gaza City on January 25, 2019. (Mahmud Hams/AFP)

Qatar’s Gaza Strip Reconstruction Committee announced on Monday that its chairman, Mohammed al-Emadi, has signed contracts for three new projects in the coastal enclave valued at $1.7 million.

Emadi, who serves as Qatar’s de facto ambassador to Gaza, was in Jerusalem and the Strip on Sunday and Monday, meeting international diplomats and leaders in the Hamas terror group.

The Qatari body said in a statement that the three projects were the construction of a fuel storage facility, a mosque in a central Gaza village and a part of its future headquarters in the territory.

In the past eight years, Qatar has delivered hundreds of millions of dollars in aid to Gaza for infrastructure, health, electricity and other projects.

Postal workers aid Palestinians who arrived at the central post office in Gaza City on January 26, 2019, to receive financial aid from the Qatari government given to impoverished families. (Mahmud Hams/AFP)

In recent months, Qatar, under agreements approved by Israel, has sent tens of millions of dollars to the Strip for fuel, grants to needy Palestinians and to pay the salaries of Hamas-appointed civil servants.

A major part of the understandings entails Israel allowing goods and funds into Gaza in exchange for Hamas authorities maintaining relative calm in the border region between the Jewish state and the Strip.

Since late March 2018, Hamas, Palestinian political parties, civil society groups and others have orchestrated weekly violent protests in the border region, which, they say, aim to force the Jewish state to lift its restrictions on the movement of people and goods into and out of the coastal enclave.

Israeli officials have said Israel maintains the restrictions on movement to prevent Hamas, which is sworn to destroy the Jewish state, from importing weaponry.

The border has been relatively calm for several months, but the past few weeks have once again seen a marked uptick in cross-border fighting, including nightly riots along the fence.

In the past week, Egypt and other mediators have been shuttling between Gaza and Israel in an effort to restore calm.

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