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Qatar breaks Israeli siege with new Gaza embassy plan Open in fullscreen

The New Arab

Qatar breaks Israeli siege with new Gaza embassy plan

Qatar last year paid thousands of civil servants in the Gaza Strip [Getty]

Date of publication: 10 January, 2017

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A Qatari official has reportedly announced the oil-rich Gulf state will build an embassy in the besieged Gaza Strip in a significant diplomatic move.

A Qatari official has announced the country will build an embassy in the besieged Gaza Strip in a significant diplomatic move, Palestinian media has reported.

Abd al-Halim al-Issawi, the head of the Qatari Committee for the Reconstruction of Gaza, said during a meeting with contractors on Sunday that an embassy would be established in the coastal enclave.

Issawi approved the construction of the future embassy after visiting its planned location south of Gaza City.

Qatar has been a major backer of the Islamist movement Hamas and already has a representative office in Gaza.

The move marks a significant diplomatic move as most countries have set up their Palestinian diplomatic missions in east Jerusalem or the West Bank.

Last year, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas met the head of Hamas and his deputy in Qatar.

Abbas's secular party Fatah and Hamas have been at loggerheads since the latter seized Gaza in a near civil war in 2007.

The oil-rich Gulf state has built thousands of homes in Gaza for people made homeless by the 51-day Israeli aggression in 2015.

Qatar last year paid thousands of civil servants in the Gaza Strip who had not received their full wages in nearly three years.

Gaza has been subjected to a stringent Israeli blockade since 2006, with construction materials tightly controlled over Israeli fear militants could make use of them to produce arms or build fortifications.

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