Report: PA banks refusing to transfer Qatari money to Gaza

PA officials fear cooperating with transfer of Qatari aid would expose them to legal actions.

Elad Benari ,

Financial aid as part of $480 million in aid allocated by Qatar, in Gaza
Financial aid as part of $480 million in aid allocated by Qatar, in Gaza
Flash 90

The Palestinian Authority's (PA) banking and humanitarian systems are refusing to take part in an outline to facilitate the transfer of Qatari aid money into the Gaza Strip, PA sources told the Ynet news website on Thursday.

According to the report, the PA fears such cooperation would expose it to legal actions on the grounds of supporting and funding terrorism.

According to “the Memorandum of Understanding between the State of Palestine through the Ministry of Social Development and the Qatari Foreign Ministry through the Gaza Rehabilitation Committee,” the PA has agreed to transfer Qatari funds through banks subject to the supervision of the Palestinian Monetary Fund according to a list of names compiled by the Qatari side.

The transfers will take place using ATM cards bearing the bank’s logo and will include assistance to 100,000 beneficiaries from poor families as well as 27,695 other beneficiaries, most of whom are Hamas officials.

After the funds are transferred to the PA banks, the PA will issue magnetic cards that will be recharged each month with $100 and these will be handed over to the poor families in the Gaza Strip.

The sources told Ynet that the reason for the finalization of the outline being delayed is that officials in the PA's banking system worry that the agreement will make them open to lawsuits.

The Palestine Monetary Authority (PMA) on Thursday issued an official statement, stating that PA banks are not involved in the transfer of funds.

Qatar has provided hundreds of millions of dollars in recent years to pay for electricity in the Strip, build new roads and hospitals, help Hamas cover the salaries of its civil servants and provide monthly stipends to poor families.

Israel permitting the transfer of the funds to Gaza has been met with criticism, due to concerns that Gaza’s Hamas terrorist rulers will pocket the money and then use it for terror purposes.

Following Operation Guardian of the Walls, it was reported that Israel plans to reevaluate the way in which the Qatari money enters Gaza in order to ensure that the funds go to the needy population of the Strip and not into the hands of Hamas.

Last month, Palestinian Arab sources said that the United Nations would take on the responsibility of distributing the Qatari monetary aid to families in the Gaza Strip.