- Title: Qatar says its Gaza aid to continue through March 2020 at least
- Date: 18th December 2019
- Summary: KEREM SHALOM, GAZA (DECEMBER 17, 2019) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF FIRE TRUCKS DONATED BY QATAR ENTERING GAZA THROUGH CROSSING FIRE TRUCKS DRIVING AWAY SECURITY VEHICLES GOING THROUGH CROSSING VEHICLES DONATED BY QATAR GAZA CITY, GAZA (DECEMBER 18, 2019) (REUTERS) QATARI ENVOY MOHAMMED AL-EMADI WALKING VARIOUS OF AL-EMADI AT CONFERENCE NEXT TO HAMAS OFFICIAL TAWFIQ ABU NAEEM (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) QATARI ENVOY, MOHAMMED AL-EMADI, SAYING: "We, at Qatar National Day, have come here to witness the ceremony of delivering 22 fire trucks and firefighting equipment for the Palestinian civil defence authority in the Gaza Strip. Donated by Qatar represented by its prince, his highness, Sheikh Mohammed Al Thani, God bless him." FIREFIGHTERS STANDING NEAR FIRE TRUCKS AT CONFERENCE KEY SIGN HELD BY AL-EMADI AT CONFERENCE AND HAMAS OFFICIAL TAWFIQ ABU NAEEM (Arabic): "FROM QATAR TO PALESTINIAN CIVIL DEFENCE AUTHORITY." (SOUNDBITE) (English) QATARI ENVOY MOHAMMED AL-EMADI, SAYING: "The first quarter of 2020 we are continuing, this is for sure. The rest of the year, I think we'll continue. We are looking forward for it carefully and positively on this issue. Thank you." FIRE TRUCKS AND FIRE FIGHTING VEHICLES DONATED BU QATAR PARKED AT CONFERENCE FIREMEN STANDING NEXT TO TRUCKS QATAR FLAG AND PALESTINIAN FLAG ON VEHICLE SIGN READING (Arabic): "THANK YOU QATAR, BY DIRECTORATE GENERAL OF PALESTINIAN CIVIL DEFENCE IN GAZA."
- Embargoed: 1st January 2020 16:18
- Keywords: Gaza Palestinians Qatar aid donations firetrucks
- Location: GAZA CITY, KEREM SHALOM, GAZA
- City: GAZA CITY, KEREM SHALOM, GAZA
- Country: Palestinian Territories
- Topics: Government/Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA001BAI7TQF
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Qatar will continue providing humanitarian aid for the Gaza Strip into next year, the gas-rich Gulf state's envoy to the Palestinian enclave said on Wednesday (December 18), a pledge that may help stave off conflict between Hamas and Israel.
Since the last Gaza war, in 2014, Qatar has with Israel's approval provided over $1 billion in reconstruction funds and stipends for poor Palestinians. The aid has helped Doha win favour in Washington despite Qatari-Saudi diplomatic tensions.
Qatari envoy Mohammed Al-Emadi visited Gaza this week to oversee the donation of 22 fire trucks and other emergency vehicles and discuss proposed new energy and health projects.
"The first quarter of 2020 we are continuing, this is for sure. The rest of the year, I think we'll continue. We are looking forward for it carefully and positively on this issue," Emadi told Reuters when asked about future Qatari grants.
In an effort to ease economic hardships and help calm down tensions along the border with Israel, Qatar provided more than $150 million in 2019 to by fuel for Gaza's lone power plant and monthly cash handouts to nearly 70,000 of the enclave's needy.
Israeli and Palestinian officials say the Qatari aid helps calm internal Gaza economic hardships that, in the past, have contributed to flare-ups in fighting between Hamas and Israel.
Emadi said Hamas, whose chief Ismail Haniyeh visited Qatar this week, had requested extending the financial aid into 2020.
Qatar does not have formal relations with Israel, which disapproves of the Gulf state's ties to Iran and Hamas. But Israeli officials privately welcome the Qatari largesse in Gaza, seeing a means of preventing humanitarian crises even if the money helps Hamas maintain its rule over the blockaded strip.
(Production: Nehad Khalil, Fadi Shana, Bassam Massoud, Suheir Sheikh)
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