Qatar and Egypt have signed agreements to supply fuel and basic building materials to the Gaza Strip, the Qatari Foreign Ministry said on Wednesday, according to Reuters.
The announcement was made in Oslo by Soltan bin Saad Al-Muraikhi, Qatar's minister of state for foreign affairs, during a ministerial meeting of the Ad Hoc Liaison Committee (AHLC), the international donor group for Palestinian Arabs.
He (Muraikhi) affirmed that these joint collaborative efforts will contribute to improving living conditions (in Gaza)," the Foreign Ministry statement said.
About 2,200 homes in Gaza were destroyed and 37,000 others were damaged during the 11-day conflict between Israel and Hamas in May, says Gaza's Hamas-run government.
Following a May 21 ceasefire, mediated by Egypt, access to reconstruction funds and materials has been a key Hamas demand. Israel limits construction materials entering the territory due toe fact that Hamas uses them to build weapons to wage attacks.
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 has approved the transfer of the Qatari money and has come under fire for doing so as Hamas continues to regularly fire rockets at Israeli towns in the south.
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.
Palestinian Arab sources later said that the United Nations would take on the responsibility of distributing the Qatari monetary aid to families in the Gaza Strip, replacing the previous method which involved suitcases full of cash entering the Strip through Israel.