Gaza's New Look

(New York Review of Books) Nicolas Pelham - Arab governments across the region, like Qatar's, have been shifting hundreds of millions of dollars in aid money from the PA to Hamas, signaling what may be a historic shift in Palestinian politics. According to World Bank figures, construction starts in the first half of 2011 grew by 220%. So great is the demand that Gazans complain builders have to be booked months in advance, and decorators are never available. The Gazan economy grew by 20% in 2010 and a whopping 27% last year. Turkey and the Gulf powers have shifted funding southward from the PA in the West Bank. Turkey has contributed $300 million to Gaza; Saudi Arabia $250 million. The new Gaza offices of the IHH - the Islamist charity in Turkey that spearheaded the 2010 aid flotilla to Gaza intercepted by Israel - dominate Gaza City's Katiba Square, newly grassed with turf hauled through the smuggling tunnels. The Islamic University has added Turkish to its curriculum.

2012-10-29 00:00:00

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