What Happened: Israel has agreed to allow Qatari funds into the Gaza Strip after the government in Doha promised that the money would only be used to pay public sector salaries, which have been in arrears since 2007, Haaretz reported Oct. 31.
Why It Matters: The Palestinian Authority cut off public sector pay in 2007, and Qatari payment of those salaries continues the trend toward a de facto split between the Gaza Strip and the West Bank. That split, in turn, makes a peace deal between Israel and the Palestinian territories less likely to be comprehensive as Hamas and Fatah are unlikely to agree to the same deal with Israel.
Background: Qatar has been working to provide financial aid to Gaza in a bid to restore its diplomatic clout and prove itself a reliable ally to the United States. Since March, weekly protests in Gaza have led to hundreds of Palestinian deaths and increased the risk of wider conflict, though leaders from both Israel and Hamas have repeatedly expressed their desire to avoid a full-scale military conflict.
- Israel, Palestinian Territories: Conflict Intensifies in the Gaza Strip (July 20, 2018)
- Gaza Looks Out Onto a Changing Middle East (May 16, 2018)
- Palestinian Territories: A Meeting Brings More Distance (Feb. 13, 2018)