(January 22, 2019 / JNS) Israel halted a previously approved $15 million transfer to the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip from Qatar on Tuesday amid renewed violent tension along the Gaza-Israel border.
This development comes as an Israeli officer was hurt by sniper fire along the border on Tuesday, with a Hamas terrorist killed in a counterattack by Israel. The Israeli military shut down areas near the border to civilian traffic, fearing more violence.
“Following the recent incidents in the Gaza Strip, and with consultation with security officials, [Israeli] Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu decided not to allow the transfer of Qatari money to the Gaza Strip tomorrow,” an Israeli diplomatic official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.
Hamas and other Gaza-based terrorist organizations were scheduled to meet on Tuesday evening to discuss “how to respond to the Israeli escalation,” reported Palestinian media.
A Hamas official told The Times of Israel that “Netanyahu’s decision to prevent their entry is a crime that will push Gaza toward an explosion.”
The $15 million assistance from Qatar was to be the third installment approved by Israel’s government in what officials see as a way to ease tensions and avoid a potential humanitarian crisis in Gaza.