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Has the Great Return March achieved its goals?

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It has been 32 weeks since Palestinians in the Gaza Strip launched mass protests calling for the lifting of the Israeli siege and for their right to return to homes from which they were forced out in 1948 to make way for the creation of the state of Israel.

Eight months in and three Palestinian ministries announced aid packages which included urgent aid to the tune of $5 million to be sent on 50,000 families, $200 monthly for 5,000 families of Palestinians killed or severely wounded during the “Great March of Return”, the payment of 60 per cent of July’s salaries for civil servants and the creation of 10,000 jobs aimed at university graduates.

Meanwhile, Qatar’s Ambassador to Gaza Mohammed Al-Emadi announced on Tuesday that he is visiting the besieged Strip to follow up on projects his government is financing and launch new ones. This came only a week after Qatari fuel started pumping in to the sole electricity plant in Gaza, allowing the Strip to have more hours of electricity each day.

More was to come, the officials said.

Political analyst Naji Al-Zaza, who is close to Hamas decision-makers, said: “The understandings for ending the siege resulted in salaries for 43,000 employees, jobs for 10,000 university graduates, $5 million for 50,000 poor families, $200 monthly payment for the families of martyrs and the........

© Middle East Monitor