Qatar will establish an escrow account with both Gaza's electricity and electricity distribution companies to cover the costs of gas supply and generating electricity through Gaza's only power plant, the Qatari foreign ministry said on Friday, according to Reuters.
Under the agreement, the Qatari committee will be the main owner of the account and will organize and manage the payments through it, while the Gaza Electricity Distribution Company will deposit $5 million per month when the gas power plant starts operating.
The move is the latest by Qatar to assist the Hamas-run Gaza Strip. In late December, the Palestinian Authority, Qatar, and an electric company based in Gaza inked an agreement which formalizes an investment of $60 million towards the construction of a gas pipeline.
Qatar has been involved in several projects in the Gaza Strip. It 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.
In November, Hamas announced an agreement by which Qatar will resume subsidizing the salaries of public employees by sending fuel to the Gaza Strip.
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.
(Israel National News' North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Israel National News articles, however, is Israeli time.)