Hamas’s Economic Wounds Inflicted on Gaza's Population

"...The 21 November 2012 ceasefire that ended an eight-day-long exchange of Gazan rocket fire and Israeli aerial bombardment was never implemented. It stipulated that all Palestinian factions in Gaza would stop hostilities against Israel, that Israel would end attacks against Gaza by land, sea and air – including the ‘targeting of individuals’ and that the closure of Gaza would essentially end as a result of Israel’s ‘opening the crossings and facilitating the movements of people and transfer of goods, and refraining from restricting residents’ free movements and targeting residents in border areas’.

Cease fire in exchange for some economic independence and growth.

An additional clause noted that ‘other matters as may be requested shall be addressed,’ a reference to private commitments by Egypt and the US to help thwart weapons smuggling into Gaza, though Hamas has denied this interpretation of the clause.

Economic growth coincident with a military build up
sounds like the economic plan as a mask to prepare for more violence.

...Israel therefore saw little incentive in upholding its end of the deal. In the three months following the ceasefire, its forces made regular incursions into Gaza, strafed Palestinian farmers and those collecting scrap and rubble across the border, and fired at boats, preventing fishermen from accessing the majority of Gaza’s waters.

There is plenty of blame to spread between both sides.

The end of the closure never came. Crossings were repeatedly shut. So-called buffer zones – agricultural lands that Gazan farmers couldn’t enter without being fired on – were reinstated. Imports declined, exports were blocked, and fewer Gazans were given exit permits to Israel and the West Bank.

Israel had committed to holding indirect negotiations with Hamas over the implementation...

If Hamas was still committed to war, why help them kill Israelis
by allowing economic growth etc...?

...The talks never took place...

...Hamas needed time to rebuild its arsenal, fortify its defenses and prepare for the next battle, when it would again seek an end to Gaza’s closure by force of arms...

Hamas inflicted wounds to the detriment of Gaza's economy.

In July 2013 the coup in Cairo led by General Sisi dashed Hamas’s hopes. His military regime blamed the ousted President Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas, its Palestinian offshoot, for all of Egypt’s woes. Both organisations were banned. Morsi was formally charged with conspiring with Hamas to destabilise the country. The leader of the Muslim Brotherhood and hundreds of Morsi’s supporters were sentenced to death. ...Travel bans were imposed on Hamas officials. The number of Gazans allowed to cross to Egypt was reduced to a small fraction of what it had been before the coup. Nearly all of the hundreds of tunnels that had brought goods from Egypt to Gaza were closed. Hamas had used taxes levied on those goods to pay the salaries of more than 40,000 civil servants in Gaza.

Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood allowed Hamas to resupply its military capability
which ended via a US sponsored overthrow of Egypt's government
cutting off economic activity and Hamas' ability to self finance via taxation.

Hamas’s former allies and primary supporters, Iran and Syria, would not help it unless it betrayed the Muslim Brotherhood by switching its support in the increasingly sectarian Syrian war to the Alawite Bashar al-Assad against what had become an overwhelmingly Sunni opposition. Hamas’s remaining allies had their own problems: Turkey was preoccupied with domestic turmoil; Qatar was under pressure from its neighbours to reduce its support for the Brotherhood, which the other Gulf monarchies perceive as their primary political threat. Saudi Arabia declared the Brotherhood a terrorist organisation; other Gulf states continued to repress it...

Gaza is/was/continue to be a proxy war
funded and supported by neighboring countries 
who use hatred to control/distract their repressed populations
from the corruption/totalitarianism of some US allies and enemies.

With pressure mounting and no strong ally to turn to, Gaza’s descent was quick. ...Electricity shortages increased... Shortages of fuel led to queues stretching several blocks at petrol stations... Garbage piled in the streets because the government couldn't afford fuel for refuse lorries. ...more than 90 per cent of Gaza’s aquifer was now contaminated.

...Hamas [may have seen] only four possible exits. The first was rapprochement with Iran at the unacceptable price of betraying the Brotherhood in Syria and weakening support for Hamas among Palestinians and the majority of Sunni Muslims everywhere. The second was to levy new taxes in Gaza, but these couldn’t make up for the loss in revenue from the tunnels, and would risk stirring up opposition to Hamas rule. The third was to launch rockets at Israel in the hope of obtaining a new ceasefire that would bring an improvement in conditions in Gaza...

[The fourth and initiated alternative was] ...Hamas agreed to allow the PA to move several thousand members of its security forces back to Gaza, and to place its guards at borders and crossings...

Among the rationales for signing the agreement provided by Hamas leaders was that it would allow the movement to focus on its original mission, military resistance against Israel.

At the expense of Gaza's population and economy.

...The terms of the agreement were not only unfavourable [to Hamas] but unimplemented. ...payment of the government employees who run Gaza and an opening of the crossing with Egypt – were not fulfilled. 

By the Palestinian Authority and Egypt?

On 12 June, ten days after the new [Palestinian] government was formed, ...three Israeli students at yeshivas in the West Bank were kidnapped and murdered...

In its search for the suspected murderers, Israel carried out its largest West Bank campaign against Hamas since the Second Intifada, closing its offices and arresting hundreds of members at all levels...

The Palestinian leadership in Ramallah worked closely with Israel to catch the militants, and had rarely been so discredited among its constituents, many of whom believe abducting Israelis has proved the only effective means of gaining the release of prisoners widely regarded as national heroes...

To the detriment of economic growth and higher standards of living.

...militants in Gaza from non-Hamas factions began firing rockets and mortars in solidarity.

...Hamas leaders called for the protests to grow into a third intifada.

...Hamas began taking responsibility for the rockets.

Hamas had/has a lot of rockets and tunnels
which cost a lot of money,
which could have been allocated to economic growth endeavors instead.

Israel then announced Operation Protective Edge.

For Hamas, the choice wasn’t so much between peace and war as between slow strangulation and a war that had a chance, however slim, of loosening the squeeze. ... The primary objective is that Israel ...ends Gaza’s closure; and the April 2014 reconciliation agreement, which would allow the Palestinian government to pay salaries in Gaza, staff its borders, receive much needed construction materials and open the pedestrian crossing with Egypt.

 And rebuild Hamas' military capabilities?

...Near the end of the third week of fighting, Israel and the US quietly looked away as the Palestinian government made payments to all employees in Gaza for the first time...

...The real barrier to a West Bank uprising has been ...the widespread Palestinian acquiescence that national liberation should come second to the largely apolitical and technocratic projects of state-building and economic development. 

These are far greater obstacles for Hamas...

Hamas ...stands to lose everything if Israel reassesses its long-standing reliance on it as Gaza’s policeman, a strategy that has led it to keep Hamas strong enough in Gaza to exercise a near monopoly on the use of force. An irony of the recent weeks of ground combat is that Hamas’s strong showing has put its position in Gaza at risk. Israel may decide it has become too big a threat. Hamas has slowed the Israeli ground incursion and inflicted dozens of losses on Israeli troops...

For the first time in decades, Israel is defending itself against an army that has penetrated the 1967 borders, by means of tunnels and naval incursions. Hamas rockets produced in Gaza can now reach all of Israel’s largest cities, including Haifa, and it has rocket-equipped drones. It was able to shut down Israel’s main airport for two days. Israelis who live near Gaza have left their homes and are scared to go back since the IDF says that there are probably still tunnels it doesn’t know about. Rockets from Gaza kept Israelis returning to shelters day after day, demonstrating the IDF’s inability to deal with the threat.

The war is estimated to have cost the country billions of dollars.


Why not let Gaza become an independent country?

Why not let Egypt help in the reconstruction of Gaza?

Why not let Gaza vote to recognize Israel's right to exist
in return for the right to exist as an independent state
through a referendum?

How much economic development money and jobs could flow into Gaza
if it became a non violent free enterprise zone?

Maybe it's more convenient for the totalitarian governments surrounding Gaza to keep Gaza poor, brainwashed with hate and miserable, to control unhappy populations elsewhere by giving them someone else to direct their hatred toward.

The Gazan population may be a bit like the Jewish population after WWII.  

No where to go.  It would seem a bad idea to allow the young from an extremist area to emigrate elsewhere.  

Gaza and Israel are stuck with each other.

They are stuck with hate for the time being.

By getting rid of the hate, standards of living and economic growth should improve.

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