'Urgent relief': Qatar allocates $480m in aid to Palestinians
Qatar said on Tuesday that it has allocated $480m in aid to the cash-strapped Palestinian Authority (PA) to support education and health services and provide urgent humanitarian relief.
The authority, led by President Mahmoud Abbas, has been hit by the cutting of two of its leading sources of revenues.
Washington has ended all bilateral US aid in response to the Palestinians' severing of contacts after it recognised the disputed city of Jerusalem as Israel's capital in 2017.
A row with Israel has meanwhile led to a halt to transfers of customs duties it levies on goods destined for Palestinian markets.
"The state of Qatar has allocated $300m in the form of grants and loans to support the health and education sectors' budgets with the Palestinian Authority," the official Qatar News Agency reported.
It said that Doha has also allocated another $180m in "urgent relief and humanitarian aid and in support of UN programmes in Palestine".
Aid will also go to the power sector to ensure supplies are not interrupted, the statement said.
In February, Israel decided to deduct around $11m a month from customs receipts it transfers to the Palestinians, corresponding to the amount it said they paid to families of prisoners, or directly to inmates, serving time in Israeli jails.
The Palestinians responded by saying they would refuse any funds where unilateral deductions had been made.
Gas-rich Qatar is a major aid donor to the Palestinians, both to Abbas's West Bank-based PA and to the rival Gaza administration of Hamas.
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