Hamas talks with the UN over the humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip have failed, the group’s leader said in the enclave.
“It was a bad meeting and it was completely negative,” Yahya Sinwar said on Monday.
“The meeting with the UN delegation was thorough and they listened to us. But unfortunately, there are no indications of intentions to resolve the humanitarian crisis in the Gaza Strip.”
Sinwar made the remarks during a press conference following the meeting in Gaza City with a former UN delegation, including the UN special coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Tor Wennesland.
Sinwar also accused Israel of “blackmailing Palestinian factions, including Hamas” into resolving the humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip.
The latest developments come less than a month after Israel and Hamas agreed to a ceasefire that ended an 11-day Israeli assault on the Gaza Strip on 21 May.
The Israeli assault killed at least 257 Palestinians, including 66 children. Thirteen people were killed in Israel, including two children.
The Israeli attacks also destroyed 1,148 residential and commercial units in Gaza and partially damaged 15,000 others, leaving more than 100,000 civilians displaced in UN-run schools and other host communities.
Israeli media reported that Sinwar threatened an escalation of tensions with Israel if it did not allow Qatar to transfer $ 30m of funds to the Gaza Strip to help pay wages.
Qatar has, in recent years, distributed hundreds of millions of dollars in cash to allow Hamas, which governs Gaza, to pay for fuel for the Strip’s power plant, the salaries of officials, and to provide aid to tens of thousands of poor families.
Earlier this month, Qatari Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani said at a financial conference in St. Petersburg that the oil-rich Gulf country had invested about $ 1.4 billion. of dollars in Gaza since 2012.
Meanwhile, Gaza’s Pepsi bottling company was forced to halt operations – leaving hundreds out of work – this week because of tightening restrictions on Israeli imports that were tightened during the 11-day Israeli assault on Gaza, say the company’s owners.
With a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas largely in Gaza, Israel on Monday allowed a limited resumption of exports from the enclave.
But it has maintained strict measures on imports of raw materials, including carbon dioxide gas and syrup that the bottling company’s factory needs to produce the drinks, said Hamsi al-Yazeji of Pepsi Gaza.
“Yesterday, we completely finished the raw materials, and unfortunately we had to close the factory, sending 250 workers home,” Yazeji said.
Prior to the fight last month, he said, Pepsi Gaza was generally allowed to import the necessary materials.
The spices could also be in other factories in Gaza if Israeli restrictions are maintained, analysts say.
According to UN data, manufacturing makes up about 10 percent of the economy dominated by Gaza’s services sector.
Asked for comment, COGAT, a subsidiary of Israel’s defense minister, said: “Due to the security situation, the import of industrial raw materials from the State of Israel into the Gaza Strip has not. it’s not possible. ”
COGAT said Israel has allowed other imports into Gaza, including fuel, food, medicine and medical equipment.
Israel and neighboring Egypt have tight control over Gaza’s borders and say restrictions are needed to stop weapons reaching Hamas and prevent them from being produced locally.
Egypt and the UN intensified mediation last week after Israeli airstrikes in Gaza challenged the fragile ceasefire.