JERUSALEM, Israel -- Qatar’s offer to help cover the salaries of Palestinian Authority government workers in the Gaza Strip didn’t take many in Israel by surprise.
Qatar has funded Hamas long before it reconciled with Fatah, the majority faction in the Palestine Liberation Organization, which operates primarily in Judea and Samaria.
Two years ago, the emir of Qatar visited Gaza to hand deliver $250 million to Hamas and pledge an additional quarter of a billion.
Senior Hamas official Moussa Abu Marzouk made the announcement on the terror group’s satellite television channel, al-Aksa, Arutz Sheva reported.
In the broadcast, Marzouk said the P.A. doesn’t need the $200 million in U.S. aid, predicated on cooperating in security-related issues. Rather, Hamas wants an end to U.S. intervention in the P.A.’s internal affairs.
Qatar agreed not only to pay the salaries of public sector workers in Gaza, but also in Judea and Samaria, a point Hamas insisted on in negotiations on forming the unity government.
Among Israel’s many concerns with the PA unity government is that Hamas intends to increase its presence and influence in Judea and Samaria.