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Gaza Economics 101

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Gaza Economics 101

Today's post comes to us from contributor Brian Ebarb. Thanks, Brian!

Most countries have substantial exports as their economic driver. For example, China is the world’s largest exporter of manufactured goods, which comprise about 20% of their GDP[1]. The United States derives about 10% of its GDP[2] from the goods it exports.[3]

So what about Gaza? What drives the Gazan economy?

Prior to Israel’s withdrawal in 2005, the Gazan economy was heavily intertwined with the Israeli economy. [4] When Jewish settlers were forcibly evacuated from the region, however, they left behind substantial infrastructure.

The Gazans could have maintained the factories and agricultural infrastructure that was left behind. Instead, they largely left that infrastructure to become either dilapidated or deconstructed to be used for terrorist attacks.

Greenhouses, synagogues, palm trees, poultry farms, water/sewage pipes … it was all destroyed rather than used to build Gaza into a functioning nation. [5]

So what really drives the Gazan economy? Foreign contributions.

Here's what we know, by the numbers:

  • How much money has Gaza received since Israel withdrew? Billions of dollars. [6]

  • How are these billions of dollars routed? Via UNRWA and other UN agencies, which operate as extensions of Hamas. [7]

  • Have these billions of dollars pouring into Gaza benefited the average Gazan? Of course not. They’re stolen by a corrupt terrorist group who uses them to live lavishly and commit terrorist attacks on Israel. [8]

  • If Hamas has been stealing the vast majority of the foreign aid pouring into Gaza, then how do Gazans get necessary goods? Smuggling through tunnels. [9]

  • Who has Hamas used in the past to build these tunnels? “Nimble” children, despite being ordered to stop. [10]

  • Does Gaza have any realistic chance to build its own economy, even without Hamas’ political leadership? No. [11]

So we can definitely say that Gazans (in part via Hamas) have destroyed their own infrastructure, have historically built an economy based on radicalization and terrorist attacks, established a government and culture that pose a persistent lethal threat to their neighbors, and have no realistic way of developing a modern economy which would self-sustain the functions of a nation-state. [12]

They burn down their own house, and people think the answer is to hand them the keys to a new house?



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