Visiting Qatari Emir Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al-Thani has decided to increase aid financial allocations for Gaza Strip from USD 245 million to USD 400 million, said the head of the dismissed Palestinian administration in Gaza, Ismail Hanyieh, on Tuesday.
The Emir decided to increase financial allotments for construction projects in Gaza, said Hanyieh during a ceremony for laying corner stone of the Qatari-funded Hamad town in Khan Youness in the south of the enclave.
Sheikh Hamad took the decision for establishing a town for former Palestinian prisoners, who had been held in Israeli prisons, with a fund of USD 25 million, Hanyieh said, adding that the Emir decided to increase the special sum for Hamad town project from USD 30 million to USD 45 million, in addition to USD 90 million for building 2,000 residential units in the town, due to be constructed in late phases of the mega venture.
Elaborating on planned disbursement of the Qatari financial support, Hanyieh said USD eight million would fund construction of a rehabilitation center in the strip. Moreover, the Qatari Emir decided to increase budget of the artificial limbs hospital from USD 2.2 million to USD 15 million.
Qatar had previously declared it would specialize USD 254 million for construction and renovation projects in the strip.
Highly elated at unprecedented presence of a top Arab leader in the besieged enclave, Hanyieh labeled the visit of the Amir as tantamount to an official lift of the "political and economic siege" of the strip.
"The visit affirms that Gaza is not alone on the arena and that Palestine remains pivotal cause of the nation," said Hanyieh in a statement he made at the ceremony.
Addressing the Qatari Emir, who was present at the ceremony site, Hanyieh said, "You officially declare through your presence here today lifting the political and economic blockade that has been imposed by the powers of injustice and tyranny." The chief of the Palestinian Hamas movement, which controls Gaza, expressed pride for hosting the first Arab leader in the enclave, blockaded by Israeli forces.
He expressed gratitude to Egypt, namely President Mohammed Morsi, for facilitating the visit of the Emir who arrived in Gaza, earlier Tuesday, accompanied by his spouse, Sheikha Mozah Bint Nasser Al-Misned.