Amid standoff, Qatar diverts Hamas’ cash to Gaza projects

GAZA, Gaza Strip (AP) — A Qatari envoy says cash destined for Gaza salaries would be diverted to humanitarian projects through the U.N. after the Palestinian territory’s Hamas rulers refused to accept the funds.

Mohammed al-Emadi, a Qatari mediator between Hamas and Israel, has also called for “a quiet day” along Israel’s border after Hamas vowed to escalate the weekly demonstrations along the fence to protest Israel’s delays of the cash transfers.

Israel approved the delivery of the $15 million on Thursday after weeks of postponement.

The payout would have been the third installment of a $90-million package to help Hamas pay long overdue wages for its civils servants. Israel was hoping the money would ease months of the deadly demonstrations.

Palestinians started gathering along the fence on Friday afternoon.

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