Israeli minister wants voucher system for foreign aid to Gaza

Written by on July 14, 2021

Israel wants foreign aid to Gaza disbursed through a voucher system as a safeguard against donations being diverted to bolster the Palestinian enclave’s Hamas rulers and their arsenal.

Humanitarian agencies put the latest reconstruction costs for the impoverished Gaza Strip at $500m following 11 days of cross-border fighting in May.

 The payments were monitored and approved by Israel, and Doha pledged another $500m in late May.

New Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett wants a shift in policy, Internal Security Minister Omer Bar Lev said.

“The Qatari money for Gaza will not go in as suitcases full of dollars which end up with Hamas, where Hamas, in essence, takes for itself and its officials a significant part of it,” he told Israel’s Army Radio.

He said Bennett envisaged “a mechanism where what will go in, in essence, would be food vouchers, or vouchers for humanitarian aid, and not cash that can be taken and used for developing weaponry to be wielded against the State of Israel”.

Hamas, which has previously denied using Gaza aid for its military, did not immediately comment.

Credit: Al Jazeera

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