Palestinian rioters clash with Israeli soldiers at the Gaza-Israel border fence on Sept. 15, 2023. (Photo by Majdi Fathi/TPS) (Photo by Majdi Fathi/TPS)
Riots Gaza border

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“There is no doubt that the protests that are expanding on the border fence in the Gaza Strip are the result of a decision by Hamas that was made following the reduction in Qatari aid to its government officials.”

By Baruch Yedid, TPS

Hamas has offered to quiet down recent Palestinian riots along the Gaza border in exchange for Israel opening the border crossings with the Strip and a resumption of Qatari financial aid, the Tazpit Press Service has learned.

A source close to the Hamas leadership in Gaza told TPS, “there is no doubt that the protests that are expanding on the border fence in the Gaza Strip are the result of a decision by Hamas that was made following the reduction in Qatari aid to its government officials.”

Qatar informed Hamas that it would not renew its monthly aid package of $30 million.

Until recently, the $30 million monthly aid package was divided into three parts: $10 million for 100,000 impoverished families, $10 million for fuel for power plants, and $10 million for Hamas officials’ salaries. However, irregular disbursements in recent months have resulted in Hamas officials having to cope with significantly reduced payments.

According to the Palestinian source, the aid to Hamas officials decreased in recent months from $10 million a month and now stands at $3 million. “Even this does not arrive regularly, which causes significant damage to the clerical sector in the Gaza Strip who currently receive only about 55% of their salaries” he said.

The decrease was interpreted in Gaza as a deliberate Qatari attack on Hamas.

In response to escalating riots, Israel on Sunday closed the Erez border crossing, where Palestinian workers enter the country.

The Palestinian source said closing the crossings would cause “very serious damage to the second most important source of income in Gaza, the sector of the workers who work in Israel.”

Currently, 17,000 Gazans have permits to work in Israel. To ease the Strip’s financial difficulties, Hamas is interested in “drastically increasing” that number,” the source said.

The source also believes that Hamas is working to stop the demonstrations along the Gaza border. On Tuesday, Gazans burned tires and detonated explosives at the security fence. Israeli forces responded with riot-dispersal measures, and in some instances, live fire.