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Israel announces resumption of Qatari payments to Gaza

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By Euronews with AP
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Israel's Prime Minister Naftali Bennett with Israel's Minister of Defense Benny Gantz
Israel's Prime Minister Naftali Bennett with Israel's Minister of Defense Benny Gantz   -   Copyright  AFP
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Qatar will resume aid payments to thousands of families in the Gaza Strip after reaching an agreement with Israel.

Israel has blocked the payments, insisting on safeguards that none of the money will reach Hamas.

The new agreement can be a step aimed at easing tensions with the Hamas-ruled Palestinian territory in the wake of an 11-day war in May.

Israeli Defence Minister Benny Gantz said that under the new arrangement, funds would be transferred by the United Nations directly to the bank accounts of Gaza families. Israel, he said, would maintain oversight over the list of recipients. The payments are expected to begin in the coming weeks.

Qatar has provided hundreds of millions of dollars to Gaza's poorest families in recent years. The funds have been a key source of stability for the impoverished territory, where unemployment is hovering at around 50 percent.

Under the system before the war in May, some 30 million dollars in cash was delivered in suitcases to Gaza each month through an Israeli-controlled crossing.