JERUSALEM (AP) — Israel has announced an agreement with Qatar to resume aid payments to thousands of families in the Gaza Strip. The step is aimed at easing tensions with the Hamas-ruled Palestinian territory in the wake of an 11-day war in May. Qatar has provided hundreds of millions of dollars to Gaza’s poorest families in recent years. The funds have been a key source of stability for the impoverished territory. But since the May war, Israel has blocked the payments, insisting on safeguards that none of the money will reach Hamas. Under the new arrangement, the U.N. will send payments directly to the bank accounts of Gaza families.
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