Sunday, September 12, 2021

Will Bennett resume Netanyahu's suitcases of cash for Hamas?

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett is examining the possibility of returning to the old method in which a Qatar envoy would transfer suitcases full of cash into the Gaza Strip after the proposed method to provide financial aid directly to Gaza's residents collapsed.

Channel 12 News reported that Bennett has held discussions on the matter and realized that no solution could be found for an alternative method to transfer the money.

In July, Bennett pledged to the Security Cabinet to end the policy of the previous government to allow Qatar to send suitcases full of cash into the Hams-run Gaza Strip.

"We are also working on a solution that would provide humanitarian assistance to the people of Gaza, but it will not include suitcases full of dollars," Bennett said. "These suitcases of cash are something we inherited and must end once and for all."

Despite Bennett's position, it appears the government will find no alternative but to resume the suitcase deliveries.

Military correspondent Nir Dvori reported that the defense establishment tried to find an alternative solution by transferring money to the needy through a UN bank, but when Israel insisted that the officials' money also use a new mechanism through American banks and the Palestinian Authority, the move ran into problems and became frozen,

The Qatari envoy to the Gaza Strip, Muhammad al-Amadi, announced on Friday that the Palestinian Authority had withdrawn from the agreement, according to which it would transfer part of the Qatari grant intended for the payment of the salaries of PA employees in Gaza to Hamas officials.

The PA fears that the banks under its responsibility, which were supposed to transfer the payment of salaries, will be exposed to international litigation over terrorist financing.