Improving Gaza's Economy Will Not De-radicalize Hamas

(Ynet News) Maj.-Gen. (ret.) Amos Gilad and Col. (res.) Dr. Michael Milshtein - Israel is working on improving the economy in Hamas-controlled Gaza to make life better, since Israeli officials believe it will give incentive to the local population to stand up against the Jihadist principles promoted by Hamas. Hamas, however, is using the ceasefire reached following the May war to rehabilitate its military power ahead of a future conflict. It is necessary to recognize the limitations of the Western belief that good economics can overcome radical ideologies. This model has failed many times over the past decades in the Middle East. The Hamas rocket attacks on Israel in May occurred at a time when the civilian situation in Gaza had been improving rapidly. Hamas is driven to take action against Israel in order to fulfill its long-term ideological objectives. Hamas occasionally agrees to a ceasefire when that serves its interests, but a good, peaceful life for the Palestinians is not one of its objectives. For Hamas, the wellbeing of Gaza's residents is not a constraint, and Israelis have a hard time understanding that Hamas is driven by a different set of values. Maj.-Gen. (ret.) Amos Gilad is former Director of Policy and Political-Military Affairs at the Israel Ministry of Defense. Col. (res.) Dr. Michael Milshtein is former head of the Department for Palestinian Affairs in IDF Military Intelligence.

2022-01-03 00:00:00

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