Hamas bluster, Gaza
Hamas bluster, Gaza Flash 90

Channel 13 reported that Hamas officials told the Lebanese al-Akhbar newspaper on Saturday that talks had been held with Egyptian and Qatari negotiators in recent days to monitor the difficult economic situation in Gaza in light of the coronavirus crisis. They claimed that if the economic situation were to deteriorate, "the [situation] with Israel will get to the point that terrorist organizations in Gaza will force half of the Israeli public into [bomb] shelters."

This, they say, will double the number of Israelis infected with the COVID-19 - and Israel will lose control of the virus. In addition, Hamas officials warned that the quiet in Gaza could [end] if there is a delay in the shipment of Qatari money or if additional aid for treatment of the virus fails to reach Gaza. They also claimed that Qatar had informed Hamas that no changes had been made to its promise of providing financial aid and that Israel was interested in continued quiet on the border.

Qatar, for its part, is still deciding how to ship additional monetary aid to Gaza in light of the cessation of international flights. Among the proposed methods are the possibility that money would be transferred by mail without the necessity for Qatari envoy, Mohammed al-Amadi or his deputy to step foot in Gaza, and that officials of the Qatar's Gaza Reconstruction Commission would receive the package and distribute it. In addition, the sources said that Hamas demanded that mediators pressure Israel to deliver the necessary medical equipment for fighting the virus when it reaches Gaza.

Compared to dozens of coronavirus cases in Judea and Samaria, no cases of the disease have been reported in Gaza up till now. Some 60 Gazans have so far identified suspicious symptoms. All were immediately quarantined at a special facility in Rafah, but none have tested positive for the virus. Head of Hamas in Gaza, Yahya Sinwar, inspected the quarantine measures in the city.

Preventive measures are not being enacted in Gaza like they are in the rest of the world, however. While a special factory for the production of alcohol has been established with the claim that local residents will have a surplus of disinfectants when the virus arrives and all institutes of higher education and mosques have been shut down, shops, markets, and banks remain open for business, with thousands of customers continuing to purchase goods on a daily basis unlike of Israel where all restaurants, educational institutions, theaters, stores, and malls have been ordered to temporarily close down to prevent the spread of the virus.