Palestinian president due in Doha to meet Emir and Hamas leader

DOHA Wed Aug 20, 2014 4:49am EDT

DOHA Aug 20 (Reuters) - Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas will meet the emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, and exiled Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal in Doha on Wednesday to discuss the conflict in Gaza and more aid for Palestinians, diplomatic sources told Reuters.

A ceasefire in the Gaza Strip collapsed on Tuesday, with Palestinian militants firing dozens of rockets at Israel and Israel launching air strikes.

Abbas's visit to Qatar, a close ally of Hamas, will be his second since the hostilities in Gaza began on July 8.

"The President will be in Doha to meet with the Emir and talks will be on how to lift the siege of Gaza, the political scene that will follow that and then the urgent needs of the Palestinian people given the catastrophic losses," Palestinian ambassador in Doha Monir Ghannam told Reuters.

Qatar, which has been acting as a communication channel between the West and Hamas, has donated more than $500 million in humanitarian aid to Palestinians in addition to grants of $1,000 for every Palestinian who lost their home.

The Palestinian Health Ministry says some 2,026 people, mostly civilians, have been killed in the current conflict that began last month. Sixty-four Israeli soldiers and three civilians in Israel have also been killed during the offensive. (Reporting by Amena Bakr; Editing by Susan Fenton)