Browsing 'gaza' News

Gaza Solidarity Festival in Qatar, 2014

Qatar Red Crescent

Gaza Solidarity Festival in Qatar, 2014

Qatar’s Emir has promised to pay the wages of thousands of public sector employees in Gaza to help “alleviate the suffering of brethren in the Strip,” QNA reports.

The country will spend QR115 million (US$31.6 million) to cover one month’s worth of salary, at a time when Gaza is under financial strain due to an “unjust siege imposed by the Israeli occupation.”

Israel has enforced a strict economic blockade on Gaza since 2006, after Hamas won general elections. The party lost control shortly thereafter, but wrested back political power of Gaza in 2007.

Gaza struggling to rebuild after 2014 bombing campaign

UNRWA

Gaza struggling to rebuild after 2014 bombing campaign

According to Reuters, there are some 50,000 Hamas-hired civil servants, and many have not seen regular pay packages since 2013, in part because of the blockade.

Restrictions

This month, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) warned that the restrictions are having a debilitating effect on the people of Gaza:

“The restrictions on the movement of people and goods continue to collectively punish the civilian population, affecting every aspect of life in Gaza; undermining the local economy; and threatening the enjoyment of most human rights, in clear violation of Israel’s legal obligations under international humanitarian law.”

Over the past two years in particular, Gaza has struggled to rebuild their homes and neighborhoods following a 2014 Israeli bombing campaign.

However, construction materials are tightly controlled by Israel, which worries that Hamas’ military arm could use them to make weapons or other purposes.

Qatar-Hamas ties

Qatar and Hamas are politically close. The Gulf country’s former Emir was the first Arab head of state to visit Gaza after Hamas took control in 2007.

And in January, Qatar handed over some 1,060 housing units to Palestinian families who lost their homes in Gaza during recent wars.

The homes marked the completion of the first of three phases of a multi-million dollar redevelopment effort Qatar pledged to fund in 2012.

It also includes two schools, a health center, a commercial center and a mosque in addition to infrastructure facilities, roads and green spaces.

Qatar had also pledged to build a “Hamad Medical City,” a six-floor hospital that treats people with disabilities and injuries, as well as provides prosthetics service and cochlea implantation for deaf children.

Thoughts?

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

Joe Catron/Flickr

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

A Qatari group in Gaza has handed over some 1,060 housing units to Palestinian families who lost their homes in recent wars in the territory.

The completion of the homes by the Qatari Committee for Reconstruction of the Gaza Strip signals the end of the first of three phases of a multi-million dollar development in Palestine that the Gulf country pledged to build in 2012.

That promise was made by then-Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani during a landmark visit to Gaza. He was the first Arab head of state to take an official trip to the territory since 2007, when Hamas took control of Gaza.

At the time, QNA reported that Qatar had planned to spend $415 million on several reconstruction projects, including Hamad Residential Town, which has since been renamed to Sheikh Hamad City.

Two years later, Qatar authorities pledged $1 billion to the effort.

The project includes the 1,060 housing units that have now been handed over, as well as two schools, a health center, a commercial center and a mosque in addition to infrastructure facilities, roads and green spaces.

Qatar had also pledged to build a “Hamad Medical City,” a six-floor hospital that treats people with disabilities and injuries, as well as provides prosthetics service and cochlea implantation for deaf children.

War-torn region

According to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), hundreds of thousands of Gazans continue to live amid the rubble of homes and neighborhoods that were destroyed in a 2014 Israeli bombing campaign.

Gaza

UNRWA

Gaza

In an appeal launched this month, the UN agency said some 80,000 people in Gaza were reliant on humanitarian assistance in the year 2000. That figure has now risen to over 830,000 people.

Meanwhile, QNA reports that Palestinian Minister of Public Works and Housing Mofeed Al-Hasayneh said Gaza is in need of 130,000 residential units.

But reconstruction has been slow because it is difficult to bring construction materials into Gaza due to Israeli restrictions on imports, according to Reuters.

The newswire quotes Gaza economist Maher Al-Tabbaa as saying:

“Only 400,000 tonnes of cement have entered Gaza since October 2014, or the equivalent of Gaza’s need of cement in two months only.”

Thoughts?

For illustrative purposes only.

effetto_farfalla/Flickr

For illustrative purposes only.

More than 100 Palestinian teachers who left Gaza to interview for jobs in Qatar were sent home last night after Jordanian authorities denied them access through the Allenby border crossing, also known as the King Hussein Bridge.

According to the Palestinian ambassador in Doha, the teachers had been scheduled to interview for jobs with a Qatar education committee in Amman.

The travelers were turned back from Jordan’s border because the procedures to obtain official approval for their entry had not been completed, Mounir Ghannam told Doha News.

He added that the paperwork should be sorted soon.

What happened

Allenby border crossing

Omar Chatriwala

Allenby border crossing

The Palestinian teachers had left Gaza on Tuesday in two buses decorated with banners praising Qatar and its Emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, AP reported.

After reaching the West Bank through the Erez crossing, most of the teachers were cleared to cross the Israeli side of the Allenby border because they had the necessary official documents and approvals from those authorities.

However, Israeli officials refused entry to some of the teachers over what they described as “security concerns,” Ghannam said.

The rest of the educators were then denied access to the Allenby crossing from the Jordanian side, due to a lack of official clearance.

Job interviews

Teachers who are hired by the education council will receive work visas to start teaching in Qatar at the beginning of upcoming academic school year in September.

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

Remake Learning

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

The process is part of Qatar’s Palestinian employment initiative, which the country launched last year.

Under that program, employment visas from Qatar would allow those holding Palestinian identification documents –  not passports – to work here.

If successful, the initiative would roughly double the size of the Palestinian population in Qatar to 40,000, Ghannam previously told Doha News.

He added that such job opportunities would provide much-needed work for residents of the occupied territories. Gaza has the highest unemployment rate in the world at 43 percent, according to the World Bank.

Qatar-Palestinian ties

Over the past several years, Qatar has sent millions of dollars of financial support to the Palestinian Authority. In April, it offered the government some $100 million in interest-free loans to be allocated for developmental projects.

And in 2013, it committed $150 million to help the state pay its bills, as well as several hundred million dollars to help construct a new Palestinian town in the West Bank.

Diplomatically, former Qatari Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani was a strong supporter of the Palestinian people and made a landmark visit to Gaza in 2012.

Local charities and groups have also launched several initiatives to raise money to help the people of the besieged Gaza strip, including efforts to raise money to build a girl’s high school and support the education system.

Thoughts?