Why Israel allows Qatar to support Hamas in Gaza …

Posted By on June 21, 2015

A year after the war that devastated the Gaza Strip, Israel is apparently helping Qatar which does not have official diplomatic relations with Israel partner with the Islamist movement and longstanding enemy Hamas to rebuild the the territory.

"Life is full of contradictions and strange things, Yossi Kuperwasser, former head of research for Israel's military intelligence, told NPRwhen commenting on Israel's recent move to allow Qatar to channel its reconstruction aid through Hamas, which is a US-designated terrorist group.

Israel has always tried to isolate Hamas and has accused Qatar of financing the Islamist movement. Hamas does not recognize Israel's right to exist, rejects all agreements between the Palestinian Authority and Israel, and calls for Israel's violent destruction in its founding charter.

But now Israel is letting a Qatari official channel millions of dollars to help the Palestinian faction rebuild the Gaza Strip, which was heavily damaged during last summer's war with Israel.

Kuperwasser told NPR that letting Qatar help Hamas will be beneficial for Israel in the long run. We believe that better conditions in Gaza would lessen the incentive of Hamas and the population to go again to a war, so in a way, it is helping the deterrence, he said.

He also mentioned that Qatar was the only country willing to help despite a pledge of over $5 billion in aid for rebuilding the Strip in 2014 after the war.

Qatar alone has pledged $1 billion, the USpledged $212 million, the European Union $568 million and the United Arab Emirates and Turkey both committed $200 million. But of February 2015, only about 5% of what had been promised reached Gaza, according tohumanitarian news service IRIN.

Mohammad al-Emadi, a Qatari official, has been traveling between Israel and Gaza to discuss reconstruction projects in Gaza,NPR reported. Qatar does not recognize Israel and the countries have no diplomatic relations.

Nevertheless, al-Emadi met with the Israeli brigadier general in charge of letting goods and people through the country's various crossings with Gaza, according to NPR.

Emadi said that Qatar was there to help Palestinians and not specifically Hamas but that there was no way to achieve that goal in the Strip without Hamas's help. "You have to support them. You don't like them ... But they control the country, you know," Emadi said during a visit to Gaza, according to NPR.

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Why Israel allows Qatar to support Hamas in Gaza ...

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