Gazan people are suffering under an inept, corrupt, and radicalized leadership that lives high on the hog with money it extorts from Qatar
The fragile ceasefire between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip is holding for now, as Hamas seems to be satisfied with the “quality of life” concessions made by Israel and the monthly payouts of Qatari cash. However, the humanitarian situation in the small and densely populated strip of land locked between Israel, the Mediterranean, and Egypt is going from bad to worse.
The grim picture was summarized by Lieutenant Colonel Akram Mansour, who is in charge of Palestinian relations in Gaza for the IDF. Lt. Col. Mansour was speaking at a gathering of security chiefs from the Israeli towns and villages that comprise the so-called “Gaza Envelope”. The senior officer updated his audience that the life expectancy of an average Gazan is 61 years and that 35,000 people, mostly young, have emigrated from Gaza last year. The economy in the territory is so bad that unemployment stands at 50%, causing many husbands to acquiesce to their wives engaging in prostitution.
Gaza is home to 2.136 million people, a number that is expected to reach 3 million by the year 2035, all occupying an area of only 365 square kilometers (141 square miles). The economic situation is creating a sharp rise in suicides and drug abuse. In fact, it is now becoming clear that many of the civilians rushing the border fence with Israel during the so-called “marches of return” have recently been under the influence of hallucinogens.
The Gazan population is isolated from the rest of the world as most cannot afford internet connection and their only source of information is the hate-filled anti-Israel propaganda they hear in mosques. This propaganda blames what they call “the occupation”, meaning Israel, for all of the Gazans’ woes, never letting them know how things really are even within the areas of the Palestinian Authority in Judea and Samaria.
Creating a viable economy for an unskilled and uneducated population of well over two million occupying an area of 141 square miles would have been a daunting task under any circumstances, but when this population is held hostage by the murderous and criminal band of extortionists known as Hamas, it is simply a lost cause.
It now appears that Trump’s deal of the century will be revealed after the Ramadan holiday in early June. In it, there will be a path for financial and economic revival of the Palestinian territories in Gaza and in Judea and Samaria alike. Needless to say, the Palestinians, even the “moderate” Palestinian Authority, let alone the extremist Hamas, have already rejected the deal. The European Union, as always playing the part of the spoiler in the Middle East, has also rejected those aspects of the deal that have leaked out. Unquestionably, the EU will continue hurting everyday Palestinians by playing along with their corrupt and radicalized leadership and promising them concessions that Israel will never make.
There are those who believe that the horrible suffering of the people in Gaza, suffering that will continue to intensify until it reaches unheard of proportions and generate scenes rarely seen in modern times will cause Israel to act against its self-interest. These people are wrong and it is they, who bear the lion’s share of responsibility for what is happening in Gaza.