High-level security cabinet ministers will receive a new Israeli proposal on Sunday that will allow Qatari funds into the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip, Channel 12 news reported Saturday.
The plan, aimed at enabling aid to reach Gaza without enriching the Hamas terror organization, reportedly calls on Qatar to send $30 million to the Strip each month.
Of that amount, $10 million will be transferred through the United Nations and go toward fuel purchases; another $10 million will go to aid for families through the Gaza Post Bank (after confirming those families have no ties to terror); and the final $10 million will be spent on a cash-for-work program.
The report did not clarify how Israel will ensure that the money is not used for terrorist purposes.
According to the network, the proposal was drawn up in coordination with Egypt. Cairo has brokered protracted ceasefire talks between Israel and Hamas after 11 days of fighting in May between the Israeli army and Palestinian terrorists in Gaza.
An official familiar with the negotiations this week told The Times of Israel that Israel had informed Egyptian brokers that it will no longer allow unchecked Qatari cash in the Strip, as it had done before.
A Kan news report earlier this month said Israel wants to recruit new donor countries willing to funnel money into Gaza to prevent a potential humanitarian crisis in the enclave from spiraling out of control.
Among the countries approached are Germany and a second unnamed European country, an Israeli source told the network.
Prime Minister Naftali Bennett has in the past been a harsh critic of Israel allowing Qatari cash in the Strip, calling it “protection money” in 2018. However, the payments continued while he was defense minister in 2019.
A Palestinian newspaper report on Sunday suggested that the United Nations had agreed to take responsibility for disbursing Qatari funds in the Strip.
The Al-Quds newspaper quoted unnamed Palestinian sources as saying Israel was on board with the move as long as the flow of funds was monitored to ensure it was not diverted to Hamas.
Sources close to Hamas were quoted as saying the terror group had no objection to such a move, as long as the money is distributed.
Qatari cash has been frozen since the 11-day military conflict between the Israeli army and terrorists in Gaza in May, about two weeks before Bennett took office. Israel has refused to allow the money into the Strip until Hamas releases two civilians and two bodies of IDF soldiers it has held captive.
Israel, along with Egypt, has also pushed for a new mechanism to be put in place to ensure the money doesn’t go to Hamas.