Hamas’s talks with the United Nations over the humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip have failed, the group’s leader in the enclave said.
“It was a bad meeting and it was completely negative,” Yahya Sinwar said on Monday.
“The meeting with the UN delegation was thorough and they listened to us. But unfortunately, there is no indication of intentions to resolve the humanitarian crisis in the Gaza Strip.
Sinwar made the remarks during a press briefing following the meeting in Gaza City with a high-level United Nations delegation, including the United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process. , Tor Wennesland.
Sinwar also accused Israel of “blackmailing Palestinian factions, including Hamas” over resolving the humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip.
The latest developments come less than a month after Israel and Hamas agreed to a ceasefire that ended an 11-day Israeli assault on the Gaza Strip on May 21.
The Israeli attack killed at least 257 Palestinians, including 66 children. Thirteen people were killed in Israel, including two children.
The Israeli attacks also destroyed 1,148 homes and business units in Gaza and partially damaged another 15,000, leaving more than 100,000 civilians displaced in UN-run schools and other host communities.
Israeli media reported that Sinwar threatened an escalation of tensions with Israel if he did not allow Qatar to transfer $ 30 million in funds to the Gaza Strip to help pay salaries.
Qatar has in recent years distributed hundreds of millions of dollars in cash to enable Hamas, which governs Gaza, to pay for fuel for the Gaza Strip power plant, salaries for civil servants and to provide aid to the Gaza Strip. tens of thousands of impoverished families.
Earlier this month, Qatari Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani told a financial conference in St. Petersburg that the oil-rich Gulf country had invested around $ 1.4 billion. dollars in Gaza since 2012.
Meanwhile, Gaza bottling company Pepsi was forced to shut down – leaving hundreds out of work – this week due to Israeli import restrictions that were tightened during the Israeli assault on 11 days in Gaza, according to the owners of the company.
With a widely maintained ceasefire between Israel and Hamas in Gaza, Israel on Monday authorized a limited resumption of exports from the enclave.
But it has kept in place stricter measures on imports of raw materials, including carbon dioxide and syrup that the bottling plant needs to produce the soft drinks, said Hamam al-Yazeji of Pepsi Gaza. .
“Yesterday we ran out of raw materials completely and unfortunately had to shut down the factory, sending 250 workers home,” Yazeji said.
Prior to the fighting last month, he said, Pepsi Gaza was generally allowed to import the necessary materials.
Closures could also occur at other factories in Gaza if Israeli restrictions are maintained, analysts said.
The manufacturing industry accounts for around 10 percent of Gaza’s service-dominated economy, according to UN data.
Asked for comment, COGAT, a branch of the Israeli Ministry of Defense, said: “Due to the security situation, the importation of industrial raw materials from the State of Israel into the Gaza Strip is not possible.
COGAT said Israel was allowing other imports into Gaza, including fuel, food, medicine and medical equipment.
Israel and neighboring Egypt maintain tight control over Gaza’s borders and say the restrictions are necessary to prevent weapons from reaching Hamas and preventing them from being produced locally.
Egypt and the UN stepped up their mediation last week after Israeli airstrikes on Gaza undermined the fragile ceasefire.