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Israel Approved Over $1 Billion from Qatar to Gaza Amid Intelligence Warnings: Reports

Israel approved the transfer of over $1 billion from Qatar to Gaza despite intelligence warnings of potential large-scale attacks by the group into Israel, as reported by The New York Times, CNN, and Ha’aretz on Monday. From 2012 to 2018, over $1.1 billion reached Gaza from Qatar with Israeli government approval.

Last year, Qatar provided $200 million for aid, fuel, and government salaries in Gaza, and there are indications it could offer hundreds of millions more this year. Information about the money was presented to the Israeli security cabinet in January by an international organization.

Israel Gaza

Following the October 7 Hamas attack on Israel, Qatar faced criticism for sending hundreds of millions of dollars in aid to Gaza. However, according to CNN’s interviews with key Israeli figures and collaboration with investigative organization Shomrim, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu continued the cash flow to Hamas despite concerns within his government.

The New York Times highlighted that Israel allowed the payments with the hope that the money would help Hamas maintain order in Gaza and alleviate political pressure to create a Palestinian state.

The reports also suggested that Israel and Hamas agreed to a brief ceasefire to release 50 Israeli prisoners, allowing aid into Gaza. Despite these efforts, conditions in Gaza remained dire. Qatar denied any misuse of the money, and the Israeli government rejected claims that it allowed aid to Hamas as “ridiculous.”

The financial aid from Qatar, originally intended for humanitarian purposes, is now under scrutiny for its potential role in supporting Hamas military operations.

The New York Times delved into the political motivations behind these decisions, accusing Netanyahu of a strategy to “buy quiet” and avoid addressing underlying issues with Hamas and Palestinian discontent.

The Qatari government reportedly funneled millions of dollars monthly into Gaza, supporting the Hamas government. Netanyahu not only tolerated but actively endorsed these payments, aiming to use financial support to maintain peace in Gaza and guide Hamas toward governance rather than conflict. The Qatari funds, though officially clandestine, were widely known and debated in Israeli media, criticized by opponents as a strategy of “buying quiet.”

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