Hamas refuses to receive Qatari grant due to "Israeli blackmail"

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GAZA, Jan. 24 (Xinhua) -- Islamic Hamas movement, which rules the Gaza Strip, refused on Thursday to receive the 15-million-U.S. dollar third installment of Qatari financial grant, saying "it's because of the Israeli blackmail."

Khalil al-Hayyah, deputy Hamas chief in the Gaza Strip, made the remarks in a news briefing held in Gaza city after his meeting with Mohamad el-Amadi, the Qatari envoy to Gaza and chairman of the Qatari committee to reconstruct Gaza, who arrived in the coastal enclave on Wednesday night.

"We informed ambassador el-Amadi that we refuse to receive the third installment of the Qatari grant in response to the behavior of the occupation (Israel) and its attempts to escape from the clam understandings brokered by Qatar, Egypt and the UN," he said.

The senior Hamas official held Israel "fully responsible for its retreat, postponement and the policy of blackmail," adding that "the Qatari official understood our position and that the occupation must be committed to our understandings."

Meanwhile, he stressed that the marches of return and breaking the Israeli siege, which started in March 30, "will continue until it achieves its goals."

Paying the third installment of the Qatari cash money was delayed by Israel this week following a wave of tension that mounted on the border between eastern Gaza Strip and Israel, where one Hamas militant was killed and one Israeli army officer was moderately injured.

In November last year, Qatar, Egypt and the United Nations brokered a calm understanding between Israel and Hamas movement. The deal was to improve the daily living situation in the coastal enclave for achieving calm on the border with Israel.

Qatar agreed to pay 15 million U.S. dollars every month for six months, pay for fuels to operate the sole Gaza power station and increase the number of electricity hours to the populations in the enclave.

Since March 30, Hamas has been leading weekly anti-Israel mass protests and rallies, where 250 Palestinians were killed and 25,000 injured. Enditem

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