Reuters is reporting that Qatar has announced the biggest contribution of reconstruction aid for Hamas-ruled Gaza since the destruction accompanying the Israeli-Gaza conflict four years ago. According to the report:
REUTERS GAZA Qatar on Tuesday launched a $254 million plan to rebuild and modernize Gaza, the biggest injection of reconstruction aid for the Palestinian enclave since it was devastated in an Israeli military offensive nearly four years ago. Projects announced at a news conference by Qatari ambassador Mohammed al-Amadi will require the cooperation of Israel and Egypt to admit building materials and heavy machinery to Gaza, which is under a partial blockade. Amadi said this had been arranged. Work would begin on site within three months, starting with a highway that will run the length of the Mediterranean coastal strip. The projects are of sufficient scale to transform Gaza and the lives of its 1.6 million people, 28 percent of whom are unemployed. Economists said thousands of jobs would be created by local contractors who have won tenders to do the work and smaller businesses that will supply and service them. The Islamist Hamas movement which rules Gaza welcomed the announcement as proof that Gaza had emerged from isolation. An aide to Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh called it ‘the first drop of rain.’ Hamas is shunned by the West as a terrorist organization because it is pledged to destroy Israel. But its position is shifting: ties to Shi’ite Muslim Iran have loosened over the past year and it has grown closer to the Sunni Muslim Brotherhood which now governs Egypt and the conservative Arab Gulf state of Qatar. Qatar’s envoy said politics played no role in the emirate’s aid decision, but acknowledged that the government of Gaza would ultimately benefit, in addition to the people. ‘The policy of the state of Qatar is that we make the projects, we design them, we finance them, and once they are finished we hand them over to the relevant ministry,’ he said. ‘This is the policy of Qatar everywhere we act and Gaza is no exception,’ he added.
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The Voice of America recently posted an article that dicusses the role of the Muslim Brotherhood in driving Qatari foreign policy.
A post from August reported on the plans for an Egypt-Qatar summit where the Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi was to receive the Emir of Qatar. AP had reported earlier that Qatar was granting Egypt a $2 billion loan to help the country’s troubled economy. A post from March reported that the Deputy Chairman of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood was visiting Qatar for meetings with Qatari official. An earlier post discussed the relocation of Hamas political leader Khaled Mashaal from Syria to Qatar in yet another sign of the country growing importance as a center of the Global Muslim Brotherhood. A series of recent and important Global Muslim Brotherhood events have been held in Qatar illustrating the increasing importance of the country to the Global Brotherhood.
A Gulf newspaper recently posted an article by academic Dr. Ahmad Jamil Azem titled “Qatar’s Ties with the Muslim Brotherhood Affect Entire Region.”
The Atlantic Council Web site recently posted an article titled “Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood: Between a Present with Qatar and a Future with Libya” that discusses the future of Qatari-Egyptian relations in light of the failure of the Libyan Muslim Brotherhood to prevail in recent elections.