Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Hamas and Al Jazeera have the same financier

From Times of Israel, 15 July 2014:

Qatari Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani, left, and Gaza's Hamas prime minister Ismail Haniyeh, right, arrive for a cornerstone laying ceremony for Hamad, a new residential neighborhood in Khan Younis, southern Gaza Strip, October 23, 2012 (photo credit: AP/Mohammed Salem)

Qatari Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani, left, and Gaza's Hamas prime minister Ismail Haniyeh, right, arrive for a cornerstone laying ceremony for Hamad, a new residential neighborhood in Khan Younis, southern Gaza Strip, October 23, 2012 (photo credit: AP/Mohammed Salem)

The United States has blocked the transfer of Qatari funds earmarked for the salaries of civil servants hired by Hamas in Gaza, The Times of Israel has learned.
A diplomatic source in the Gulf state, speaking on condition of anonymity, said that Qatar had transferred hundreds of millions of dollars to Arab Bank for the salaries of some 44,000 Hamas civil servants. Those civil servants — employed by Hamas in Gaza since its takeover of the Strip in 2007 – were rendered jobless by the unity agreement with Fatah last month.
But the money was never processed by Arab Bank and delivered to Hamas, the source told The Times of Israel, due to pressure from the Americans, who consider Hamas a terror organization.
“This is strange, since funds from Qatar have never been blocked in the past,” the source said, referring to the $400 million aid package pledged by Qatari ruler Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa during his visit to Gaza in October 2012.
Hamas’s deputy political bureau chief Moussa Abu Marzouk lambasted Arab Bank for neglecting to process the funds in comments posted on his Facebook page June 28.
...The US State Department and the Arab Bank did not respond to requests for comments on the matter.
The Emir of Qatar Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al-Thani, center, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, left, and Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal, right, arrive to sign an agreement in Doha, Qatar. A rare public rift broke open Sunday, Feb. 12, 2012 in the usually tightly disciplined Islamic movement Hamas over a reconciliation deal that would require it to relinquish key areas of control in the Gaza Strip. (photo credit: AP/Osama Faisal, File)
The Emir of Qatar Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al-Thani, center, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, left, and Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal, right, arrive to sign an agreement in Doha, Qatar. (photo credit: AP/Osama Faisal, File)
...Shortly after the swearing in of the unity government in Ramallah on June 2, Qatari emir Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani pledged millions in aid to Hamas, responding to an appeal by Haniyeh. 
Secretary of State John Kerry said the US would cooperate with the technocrat government headed by Rami Hamdallah, while closely monitoring its compliance with the Quartet’s principles of non-violence, recognition of Israel, and acceptance of the previous agreements [really????].
Qatar has long played the role of patron to Hamas, investing billions of dollars in reconstruction projects in the Gaza Strip and hosting the movement’s chief Khaled Mashaal in Doha.
Speaking to The Times of Israel on condition of anonymity, an Israeli security official said that the funds were not transferred to Hamas “due to international sanctions” imposed on the movement, but would not elaborate. He called Hamas’s decision to break a 20-month ceasefire last week by launching rockets at Israel “an internal Palestinian issue that has been thrust upon Israel.”
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