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Qatar pledged $1 billion for Gaza rebuilding 'thanks to Hamas'

Oct. 13, 2014 9:16 P.M. (Updated: Oct. 14, 2014 1:58 P.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) -- After Qatar pledged $1 billion in reconstruction aid for the war-torn Gaza Strip during a Cairo donor conference Sunday, the contribution, which topped US and Europe pledges, surprised onlookers and commentators.

On Monday, a Hamas leader said the Islamic movement was chiefly responsible for securing the commitments.

“This very generous Qatari support to the Palestinian people was made thanks to Hamas movement and the head of the movement’s politburo Khalid Mashal who is based in Qatar and has good, friendly relations with Qatar,” senior Hamas leader Ahmad Yousuf said.

Speaking to Ma’an, Yousuf added that the Qatari support to the Palestinian people was not connected to Hamas only.

Qatar, he said, has always supported liberation movements in the Arab world and in all Arab countries which witnessed Arab Spring revolutions. Qatar donated a half-billion dollars in reconstruction aid for Lebanon after the 2006 Israeli military offensive, he noted.

For his part, deputy Hamas chief Ismail Haniyeh telephoned the Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim Ibn Hamad Al Thani to thank him for the generous donation his country pledged to help rebuild the Gaza Strip.

“The donation wasn’t unexpected from Qatar, the country which has always supported the Palestinian people,” a statement from Haniyeh’s office read.

As for Hamas’ role in the Gaza reconstruction, Yousuf said Hamas made all possible facilitation in an attempt to speed up the process and thus relieve the Gaza population of the suffering and destruction caused by the war.

“Our task is to help with all obstacles and speed up the reconstruction process, and we will do whatever is needed to enable the national consensus government to complete the process perfectly.”

He reiterated that the reconstruction process would be run and supervised by the national consensus government.

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