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Qatar announces $150 million aid to besieged Gaza

Israel has besieged Gaza for over a decade [Getty]

Date of publication: 11 October, 2018

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Qatar has pledged millions of dollars to the besieged Gaza Strip just after a large aid delivery arrived to alleviate the humanitarian crisis.

Qatar on Wednesday pledged $150 million in aid for Gaza, a day after fuel purchased by the Gulf state arrived at the only power station in the Hamas-run enclave.

A statement from Doha's foreign ministry said the money had been pledged via the Qatar Development Fund, the government body responsible for distributing the country's foreign aid.

"Under the directives of His Highness Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, the Emir of Qatar, the Qatar Development Fund has pledged $150 million in humanitarian aid to alleviate the humanitarian crisis in the besieged Gaza Strip," the ministry said.

It added that the United Nations Development Programme would oversee distribution of the aid.

The UN estimated the value of Qatar's earlier donation of fuel at $60 million.

The world body says Israel's 11-year blockade of the enclave, ruled by Islamist movement Hamas, has resulted in a "catastrophic" humanitarian situation.

Gaza's two million residents endure dire living conditions including a shortage of safe drinking water and regular power cuts, partly due to a lack of fuel for the strip's power station.

For months Gaza residents have been receiving an average of just four hours of mains electricity a day.

Gaza residents have staged regular protests since March along the territory's border with Israel, sparking deadly gunfire from Israeli troops and fears of an all-out conflict between Hamas and Israel, which have fought three wars since 2008.

Hamas has been in control of Gaza since 2007, after winning democratic legislative elections in 2006 and a civil war between rival Fatah faction the following year - at the dismay of both Fatah and Israel.

Qatar, which has poured billions of humanitarian aid into Gaza, is home to former prominent members of the Hamas political party including ex-leader Khaled Meshaal.

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