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Qatari emir comes to Gaza bearing gifts – maybe with some strings attached

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Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, whose Fatah party presides over the government in the West Bank, said he welcomed Qatar’s aid package, but stressed that he is the official, internationally recognized leader of the Palestinian people, according to The Associated Press.

The two Palestinian territories have been politically divided since the Hamas takeover, and reconciliation efforts have failed repeatedly. Some Palestinians expressed reservations about the emir’s visit and Qatar’s role, fearing that Mr. Thani's visit could deepen the split, The Wall Street Journal reports.

But many Palestinians have expressed uneasiness about Qatar's role, describing it as aggravating their domestic political feud by favoring Hamas over the secular Fatah Party, which runs the Western-backed Palestinian Authority in the West Bank.

Fatah representatives couldn't be reached on Monday, but the party's Facebook page contained a photograph of the emir with a red line through his face and a caption reading "You are unwelcome. Gaza is not for sale."

"It's political money. It's not innocent money," said Omar Shaban, director of the Gaza economic think tank Pal-Think for Strategic Studies. "Some people think that it will damage reconciliation. It will encourage Hamas and embolden Hamas'' not to compromise with Fatah.

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