With the Chinese coronavirus rampaging inexorably through the Gaza strip and weeks of conflict with the Israeli forces, the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas has struck an unusual accord with Israel, temporarily diffusing its long-standing tensions with Tel Aviv
As per reports, Hamas has agreed to this ceasefire deal in return for a cash infusion from Qatar and Israel’s agreement to let the fuel supplies reach Gaza’s power stations, apart from medicines and medical supplies.
The Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar announced on Monday that they had reached a Qatari-mediated deal with Israel, ending weeks of clashes, bombings and easing its 13-year-old blockade of Gaza in exchange for calm to prevail on the border.
“An understanding has been reached to stop the latest round of escalation and put a stop to Israeli aggression against our people,” said the office of the Gaza leader Yahya Sinwar after concluding discussions with Qatari envoy Mohammed al-Emadi.
Emadi had been travelling back and forth between Israel and Gaza for days now, trying to broker a peace between the two establishments and avoid a full blown-up military confrontation.
Qatar pledges $27 million cash infusion into Gaza strip
A major part of the truce reached between Hamas and Israel involves a massive cash infusion from Qatar. According to the reports, Qatar has promised to pour in $27 million into the Gaza strip, where the coronavirus pandemic is taking root and the public health system is in dire straits. Several Arab media outlets have also claimed that the Qatari-Hamas understanding also included a promise to carry out several infrastructure projects in the Hamas-ruled coastal strip.
As per a Hamas source quoted by the AFP, there had been “a total halt” to balloon and other attacks against Israel, in harmony with other groups in the coastal strip. The source reassured that the accord reached between the arch-enemies would ensure that the fuel supply lines are restored, and power stations are restarted from Tuesday.
The Hamas said that the new agreement with Israel includes “several projects that serve our people in the Gaza Strip” and would help them in combating the spread of the coronavirus. Besides, Gaza’s fishing zone that was closed until now is also opened, allowing the fishermen to ply waters of the Mediterranean sea for up to 15 nautical miles.
Israel had imposed bans on fuel delivery into Gaza after weeks of cross-border firings
Israel had imposed a punitive ban on fuel deliveries into Gaza starting August 13, reducing the electricity supplies to just four hours a day, supplied from an Israeli grid. It had also stopped the transfer of goods into Gaza through Shalom crossing from August 11. The move was in retaliation to the cross-border firings from Gaza that had persisted for weeks.
For days now, Gaza has released hundreds of balloons laden with inflammatory substances and explosives, along with rockets targeted towards southern Israel, triggering more than 400 blazes and devastating vast tracts of farmlands. Israel has responded fiercely and unsparingly against the continued provocation, with persistent airstrikes and tank fires on locations described by it as Gaza’s military infrastructure installations.