Gaza's Humanitarian Crisis Is Fake News

(Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies-Bar-Ilan University) Hillel Frisch - One of the most widespread myths about Gaza is that it is wallowing in poverty and forever on the verge of a humanitarian crisis as a result of the Israeli and Egyptian blockade. But indicators such as life expectancy, growth in imports, and electricity demand suggest that the Gazan standard of living is rising, not declining. Life expectancy in Gaza is above both the world average and the average in the Arab states. Even with the blockade imposed on Gaza, in 2016, 14,460 trucks of produce crossed from Israel into Gaza every month. Even the electricity crisis in Gaza points to a rising standard of living. According to Muhammad Abu Amarayn, the spokesperson of the Gaza Energy Commission, there is a need for 450 MW of electricity in Gaza. The UN estimated peak demand in Gaza in 2010 at 280 MW. This means that demand for electricity in Gaza has increased by 60% in six years. The answer to any humanitarian crisis would be for the world community to join forces with the Palestinian Authority, Israel, and by now most of the Gaza inhabitants to force Hamas to dismantle its military infrastructure and spend its money on human welfare rather than terrorism. The worst thing that can be done is to increase humanitarian aid before the disarming of Hamas. The writer is a professor of political and Middle East studies at Bar-Ilan University and a senior research associate at the BESA Center.

2017-06-23 00:00:00

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