‘Very little money arrived’: Hamas gets stiffed by key allies Turkey and Qatar
March 19th, 2014 | Posted by WorldTribune.com
GAZA CITY — The Hamas regime has been hampered by the failure of Qatar and Turkey to relay massive aid to the Gaza Strip.
Palestinian sources said Hamas failed to garner significant financial assistance from either Ankara or Doha.
The sources said the two Sunni Muslim states, despite their rhetoric, did not match their pledges of hundreds of millions of dollars for the Gaza Strip.
“There were various excuses, but very little money arrived,” a source said.
In 2013, Qatar and Turkey were seen as the leading allies of the Hamas regime. To the chagrin of Israel, both countries hosted the Hamas leadership as well as financiers and operational planners.
But the sources said neither Ankara nor Doha responded to Hamas appeals
for at least $300 million to erase its budget deficit and ensure salaries to
51,000 civil servants in the Gaza Strip. They said the fiscal crisis was exacerbated by the Egyptian military campaign in the neighboring Sinai Peninsula, which blocked or destroyed some 90 percent of an estimated 1,400 smuggling tunnels.
“It is no longer possible for government institutions to stop the
continued decline in all walks of life,” Hamas official Ahmed Yusef said.
Turkey was said to have pleaded poverty as well as blamed Israel for
blocking aid. The sources said Qatar blamed poor relations with Egypt in
wake of the military overthrow of its first Islamist president in July 2013.
The sources said Hamas has made little headway in restoring some $250
million in annual aid from Iran. They said despite Hamas pledges to
coordinate positions Teheran has largely bypassed Hamas for the rival
Islamic Jihad and Palestinian militias.
“The Iranians are being very cagey about what they will provide in the
future,” another source said. “Their attitude seems to be: ‘Let’s wait until
you [Hamas] prove yourself to us.’ “
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