As long as Palestinians remain divided, it will be difficult for any leader to sell to the Palestinian people a peace agreement with Israel. Absent such an agreement, lifting the closure and jump-starting Gaza’s reconstruction can do much to avert the next war.
As the Egyptian army intensifies its campaign to destroy the border tunnels from southern Gaza, many still rely on smuggling goods for work, as no better jobs are available.
The reconstruction of Gaza after the summer of 2014 was moving at a glacial pace with only a tiny amount of the promised rebuilding materials delivered.
At Hadar Goldin’s funeral in Kfar Saba, Israel, a slim casket draped by an Israeli flag was lowered into the ground. But the body of Goldin, a 23-year-old soldier, was 50 miles away in Gaza, where it was held captive by Hamas since the 2014 war with Israel. As negotiations were reportedly being held over a long-term Israel-Hamas ceasefire, his family launched a quiet campaign to bring his body back to Israel.
Dozens of aid agencies have called for international sanctions on Israel over its continued illegal blockade of the occupied Gaza Strip and the fact that six months after its deadly and devastating assault, there has been virtually no reconstruction in the territory.
In the years since the 50-day conflict with Israel, which saw thousands of Gaza's buildings reduced to rubble, not a single destroyed home has been rebuilt.
A child collects machine gun casings found in the Gaza Strip on Aug. 5. “At some point, Hamas will stop firing rockets — if for no other reason than its arsenal is depleted,” Dennis Ross writes.
New reports from Gaza suggest a burgeoning conflict between Hamas and evidence of ISIS, who claim that Hamas isn’t fundamentalist enough. Israel’s intelligence minister claims it is more likely that Gaza will be ruled by ISIS than PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas.
Egypt has flooded its border with Gaza with water from the Mediterranean Sea in an effort to destroy the smuggling tunnels built between Gaza and Egypt. Gazans who live in the area said the salt water is destroying their crops and creating the real possibility of deadly sinkholes under their homes.
The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development warned that Gaza could be uninhabitable within five years if “current economic trends persist.”