Israel threatens to expel UN envoy over Qatar cash for Gaza

Israel's Foriegn Minister Avigdor Lieberman. AA Photo

Israel's foreign minister has threatened to expel the UN's special envoy for offering to help transfer Qatari funds to the Gaza Strip, Channel Two television reported.
Avigdor Lieberman said Robert Serry, the world body's special envoy on the Middle East peace process, had first tried to convince the Palestinian Authority (PA) to transfer $20 million (14.7 million euros) from Qatar to resolve a pay crisis for Hamas employees in Gaza, the broadcaster reported Saturday.
But after Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas refused to do so, the rightwing ultra-nationalist Lieberman charged, Serry proposed UN help in making the transfer.
Serry rejected the allegations, saying in a statement that the Palestinian authority had approached him "informally" on the matter.
"In considering any UN role on the issue of payments of salaries in Gaza that has potentially destabilising effects on security in Gaza, I made it clear that we would only be able to be of assistance if acceptable to all stakeholders, including Israel," he added.
Israel had been kept informed of all the discussions, he insisted.
Lieberman told AFP he was seeking an "urgent meeting" on Sunday about the row in which Israeli television reported the foreign minister would propose that Serry be declared persona non grata in Israel.
"We look upon Robert Serry's behaviour with the utmost seriousness, and strong measures will be imposed," Israeli foreign ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor told AFP.
"The foreign ministry issues diplomatic visas and can also withdraw them," he added.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's office said in a statement...

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