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Qatar to distribute new Gaza aid funds — official

By AFP - Jun 18,2019 - Last updated at Jun 18,2019

Palestinians stand in a queue outside the post office to receive cash aid, in Gaza City, on Monday (AFP photo)

GAZA CITY, Palestinian Territories — Gulf state Qatar is set to distribute more than $10 million in aid to thousands of cash-strapped Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, a Qatari official said on Monday.

The money was brought into the Hamas-controlled enclave Sunday evening by the Qatari ambassador to Gaza and is expected to be distributed on Monday or Tuesday, the official said on condition of anonymity.

More than 100,000 families will each receive payments of $100, he added.

Another $15 million would be provided for infrastructure and cash-for-work projects, the official said.

Palestinians lined up outside post offices throughout Gaza to receive their funds, but were ultimately turned away.

Kamal Musbah, 46, told AFP at midday he had been waiting since the early morning outside a post office in Gaza City. 

"We don't know anything yet," he said.

Musbah and around 200 other people erupted with frustration when they were told in the afternoon to return the next day.

Qatar, a rare Hamas ally in the Middle East, has been providing millions in monthly aid to Gaza since November.

The money is part of an informal agreement between Islamists Hamas and Israel that is supposed to ensure calm in exchange for an easing of Israeli crippling blockade of Gaza.

Hamas and Israel have fought three wars since 2008.

Despite the informal agreement, the two sides nearly returned to war in early May as Hamas and its allies fired hundreds of rockets at Israel during a two-day flareup.

Around 80 per cent of Palestinians in impoverished Gaza are reliant on international aid, according to the United Nations.

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