August 26, 2014
There is a way to break this vicious cycle. Israelis want the Gaza Strip demilitarized, and the Palestinians want a lifting of the blockade of Gaza. From an Israeli perspective, lifting the economic siege is essential for demilitarization, since the blockade generates a demand for commodities that can only be met through smuggling, via the tunnels. And those tunnels can only be financed with hard currency, obtained through the exchange of weapons and explosives.
So the most efficient way to “destroy” the tunnels is not by sending Israeli tanks into Gaza, but by lifting the blockade, reviving the local economy and offering, at last, other opportunities than militant Islam to young Palestinians (more than half of the Gazan population is unemployed). Gaza has to be able to rebuild, to sell the products of its farms and workshops; its people must be allowed to move freely. It is certainly easier said than done, but there is no alternative to achieve a sustained peace in Gaza.
And yet, both Israel and Hamas still harbor elusive dreams of military victory.
Jean-Pierre Filiu is professor of Middle East studies at Sciences Po, a former career diplomat for France, and the author of the forthcoming book “Gaza: A History.”
Visit the link: Gaza: Victim Of History