Hamas on Tuesday announced an agreement by which Qatar will resume subsidizing the salaries of public employees by sending fuel to the Gaza Strip, The Associated Press reported.
Under the deal reached with Qatar and Egypt, the wealthy Gulf nation will send fuel to Gaza from Egypt that Hamas can resell in order to help cover payrolls, a Hamas official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.
Details of the plan were first reported last week by Reuters, which was told by a Hamas official that Qatar will start sending Gaza up to $10 million worth of Egyptian fuel a month, under a plan to fund civil service pay.
The report came days after Qatar and Egypt announced they had signed agreements to supply fuel and basic building materials to the Gaza Strip.
The announcement was made two weeks ago 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.
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.