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Homechevron_rightMiddle Eastchevron_rightIsrael reaches deal...

Israel reaches deal with Qatar, UN on aid disbursement to Gaza Strip


Israel has reached an agreement with Qatar and the United Nations on a mechanism to transfer aid from the Gulf State to the besieged Gaza Strip, reports Al Jazeera.

Aid disbursement after the May fighting has been held up in part by a dispute from Israel about Hamas and debate about how to prevent the group from accessing such funds.

Hamas, the Palestinian group which governs Gaza, has pledged not to touch the donor money, which has emerged as a key issue in Egypt-mediated talks following a May 21 truce that mostly halted hostilities.

Announcing a deal on Thursday, Israeli Defence Minister Benny Gantz said he had been in touch with Qatar "to establish a mechanism that ensures the money reaches those in need, while maintaining Israel's security needs".

Under the new mechanism, aid from Qatar "will be transferred to hundreds of thousands of Gazan people by the UN directly to their bank accounts, with Israel overseeing the recipients," Gantz said in a statement.

Gantz added that Israel will continue its "pressure campaign for the return of the Israeli soldiers and citizens that are being held hostage by Hamas", referring to two soldiers missing in action in a 2014 Gaza war, and two civilians who slipped separately into the enclave.

There was no immediate comment from Hamas, which has not detailed the conditions of the four Israelis.

More than 4,000 Gaza homes were destroyed or damaged during the May fighting, with losses estimated by the World Bank at up to $380m. Egypt and Qatar have each pledged $500m for Gaza reconstruction.

At least 250 Palestinians and 13 in Israel were killed during May fighting

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TAGS:Israel dealQatar UpdatesMiddle East Updates#Gaza
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