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Hamas announces plan to boost Gaza economy

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Hamas has launched a package of new jobs and welfare payments to boost the ailing Gaza economy.

The Hamas Labour Ministry announced a plan to create 10,000 new jobs but did not elaborate on the nature of the work or how the posts will be funded. Hamas said a key aspect of the initiative will be to employ Gaza’s university graduates. The unemployment rate among university graduates in Gaza is more than 50 per cent.

Youssef Ibrahim, spokesperson for Gaza’s social development ministry, announced that 5,000 families, whose relatives were severely wounded on the Gaza’s border, would each receive £150. They will also offer small grants to 50,000 underprivileged civilians.

More than 200 Palestinians were killed and thousands injured by Israeli soldiers during violent protests on the Gaza border.

A representative of Hamas’s Finance Ministry said Qatar would pay Hamas officials 60 per cent of their salaries. This has been one of Hamas’s key demands during ceasefire talks with Israel.

Both Qatar and the UN have promised Hamas financial support in exchange for calm on the Israel-Gaza border. Iran has also given large sums of money to Hamas to allow it to pay families whose members were either killed or wounded during the eight-month long protests on the border.

A delegation led by Egyptian intelligence officials is shuttling between Gaza, Jerusalem, and Ramallah in an effort to finalise a ceasefire deal between Israel and Hamas. As a result of the understandings reached between Israel and Qatar, Gazans are now receiving up to 16 hours of electricity every day. It had dropped to as low as four hours a day during the summer.