The Keys to Gaza

(Institute for National Security Studies-Tel Aviv University) Shmuel Even - The terrorism emanating from Gaza is the root cause of Gaza's abject economic state, and until it is eradicated, the prospects for economic growth and development are slim. Even after the disengagement in 2005, Israel tried to allow normal economic relations between Gaza and its neighbors. This was manifested in the Agreement on Movement and Access of November 2005. However, the upsurge of terrorism in Gaza, including attacks on the border crossings, required heightened security measures. Moreover, Hamas forged military and political alliances with Israel's enemies, including Iran and Hizbullah, both of which, like Hamas, publicly declare their intention to destroy Israel. These circumstances necessarily preclude normal trade relations between Israel and Gaza. The security blockade Israel imposes on Gaza is not an economic siege. Despite the terrorism from Gaza, Israel still allows the movement of a range of goods and materials, while preventing or limiting the transit of dual-use goods, such as construction materials (which were, in fact, used to build the attack tunnels). The latest deterioration in Gaza's dire economic straits is mainly the result of Egyptian measures. Egypt closed the Rafah crossing and blocked most of the tunnels underneath its border. Recourse to the PA as a mediator between Israel and Hamas, particularly at the border crossings, will not solve Israel's security and political problems, and may even heighten them. Col. (ret.) Dr. Shmuel Even, a senior research fellow at INSS, served in the IDF's Intelligence Branch.

2014-08-27 00:00:00

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