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Gaza Strip… Where to?
By: Moatasem Hamadeh
July 18, 2018

In front of the flood of news and leaks about "giant" projects being planned for in Gaza Strip, the observer has the right to ask: "Gaza Strip, where to?"

The Strip has been besieged since 2006, since Ismail Haniyeh headed the first government of Hamas in the Palestinian Authority after the impressive victory of the Islamic movement in the legislative elections (a victory that formed a natural result of the exclusionary backward electoral law that the official leadership and Fatah insisted on sticking to, and refused to go, instead of it towards the system of full proportional representation). The conditions of the Strip, too, are deteriorating day by day. This expression (day by day) is not an exaggeration. As studies and surveys confirm that the general trend of life in the Strip, is declining and going towards more tragedies and human disasters. The Strip has also been subjected to destructive and aggressive Israeli wars, that the United States has formed a political cover for them, and provided Israel with all necessary support, and exits so it wouldn't be transferred to the international courts, to question it about the major crimes, it has committed in Gaza Strip, which their repercussions continue to take place until the moment.

Israeli hatred against the Strip is a public official policy, that has been adopted secretly and disrupted many development projects, that EU countries have provided funding for them, on the one hand, as part of imposing inhuman and unjust sanctions on Gaza Strip. On the other hand, in order not to create a national economy that will gradually be liberated, even relatively, from the attachment to the Israeli economy and subordination.

All of a sudden, Israel, United States and the United Nations representative have turned to Gaza Strip and begun announcing about conferences, consultations and "humanitarian" projects, to save Gaza Strip from its tragedy. But there is a major paradox that needs to be considered and interpreted, while projects are falling on the Strip, UNRWA is being exposed to a financial siege and hidden projects aimed to draining its sources of funding. So that we have the right to ask first: What is the relationship of all this with the “deal of the century”?

Second, Gaza Strip, in all of this, to where?

There is no doubt at all, that the Gaza Strip needs dozens of projects to be rehabilitated, to become habitable; and that its people has the right to live a decent life, as the rest inhabitants around the world. At the same time, we are aware that all projects, offered to Gaza Strip by the United States, donor countries and the international community, are with political goals or part of a political project. So, it should be emphasized that handling the situation of the Strip, must be a plan adopted and implemented by the Palestinian national institution within the framework of the national project. Then, the objectives of this work are clearly defined in order to serve the steadfastness of the Strip, in its struggle position in the national battle.

But when proposals and solutions come from the United States, Israel and others, this must be in another direction, and it is no longer ambiguous: it is a project to exploit the state of misery in the Strip in the service of the American-Israeli project of solution.

As Netanyahu, by his colonial thinking, is the owner of the "economic solution", which is based on an idea that the dilemma of the Palestinian people is that it suffers poverty and destitution, and that as we strengthen its economic situation, raise the standard of living of its people, and provide more jobs for its inhabitant, as they stay away from the situation of disobedience, and the idea that the occupation is the cause of misery, to be replaced by a new idea, which says that with the state of peaceful neighborhood with Israel, the people finds its way to economic stability, and its living conditions improve.

It is not surprising that the Israeli Minister of Finance, informs his counterpart in the PA that if the PA does not release the salaries of the employees in Gaza, Israel will deduct the necessary funds from the clearing funds and pay the salaries, as Tel Aviv is scary that whenever the living in Gaza Strip becomes worse, the negative reaction, represented by the "marches of return and breaking the siege" becomes stronger. And the real reason for these marches, as Israel believes, is to pressure upon the PA and Israel to end the siege and sanctions.

As for Kouchner, Trump's envoy to the region, charged with preparing the "deal of the century" plan, he has promised the Palestinians that the "deal" would bring them great benefits and rearrange their situations and their lives for the best.

It is no secret to say that the Kouchner and Greenblatt tour in the region, especially in the Gulf capitals, was to save money for Gaza rescue projects in various fields.

Another pillar of the US-Israeli project is the state of division in the Palestinian situation and the separation between Gaza Strip and the West Bank. We believe that all what is said about the failure of this "humanitarian" American project does not present the whole truth. As the consultations between Hamas and the parties of the project, through Mladenov, for example and through Qatari Ambassador Al-Emadi, and the counter conditions here and there, would open the door to multiple possibilities.

However, what makes the matters worse, is that the PA is still hampering the decisions of the National Council (to lift the sanctions imposed on the Gaza Strip) and continuing to be extreme in its demands to assume its responsibilities and duties towards the Strip. Perhaps the last thing that was mentioned by President Mahmoud Abbas at a meeting of Fatah Central Committee (9/7/2018) is the need to control the entire Strip, proving that the PA did not appreciate the degree of danger facing Gaza Strip or the danger that the national situation will face.

In simple terms, Gaza residents do not oppose the construction of a desalination plant or a sewage treatment plant, as the sewage has turned their beach into a polluted area. They do not object electricity coming from Israel, Egypt, or from a station in the Strip. In short, they, at some point, will not ask about the source of these projects and their financiers, as long as the PA hasn't committed to perform its role, as long as the existing authority (Hamas) has failed to resolve their issues, and as long as the two parties have failed the project of reconciliation and ending the division, they signed In Cairo on 12/10/2017.

The people of Gaza shouldn't be blamed, as their right to live is sacred. All the blame is on the parties concerned, who still prefer their factional calculations at the expense of the broad national accounts.

Notes:Moatasem Hamadeh is a member of the Political Bureau of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine
Translated by Rasha Abo Allan
Revised by Ibrahim Motlaq

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