Key Legal Aspects

The Short History of Gaza-Israel Relations 1947-2023, and Why HAMAS Is Redundant Here.

The Short History of Gaza-Israel

Gaza is de jure one of the two parts of the Palestinian Authority (along with the territory of the West Bank). In the east and north, the Gaza Strip borders Israel, from which it is separated by a barrier fence with checkpoints, and in the southwest it borders Egypt by land, from which it is separated by a concrete wall. From 1949 to 1967, Gaza was occupied by Egypt, from 1967 to 2005 by Israel.

In 2005, Israel withdrew from Gaza, handing over control to the leader of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas. The 21 Israeli settlements in Gaza were dismantled by the Israeli army (!), and the settlers living there were forcibly (!) relocated to Israel. Besides political risks, this cost nearly $3 billion.⠀

However, Mahmoud Abbas could not maintain control in Gaza. His supporters lost and were destroyed, as per local custom, by being thrown off the roofs of multi-story buildings. The conflict with Hamas cost the lives of over 600 Palestinians. The terrorists from Hamas, who seized control in 2007 (officially recognized as a movement in most democratic countries), did not work on the economic development of Gaza. Instead, they continued hostilities with the leadership of the West Bank, preventing them from uniting and attempting to create a state.

Hamas and the governance of the Gaza Strip

Since then, Hamas has had sole control of the Gaza Strip for more than 18 years. As a result of this rule, the Gaza Strip has become ghetto-like. Hamas has imposed strict controls on the population, restricting freedom of expression and engaging in armed conflict with Israel. In recent years, there has been a significant increase in rocket attacks on Israel, indicating the scale of the problem and Hamas’ intentions.

According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), real GDP per capita in the West Bank increased by more than 50% between 2007 and 2022. However, in the Gaza Strip, the figure declined by more than 50% during the same time (IMF, 2023). This indicates a significant difference in economic development between the two parts of the Palestinian Autonomy. This is not surprising, since the construction of Hamas’ underground tunnels will require as much additional funding as the construction of the Moscow Metro.

Hamas constantly shelled Israel and carried out raids into its territory. Israel, responding with targeted strikes to the shelling, tried to pursue a policy of pacification. It provided free water, electricity, and gas, offered employment to Gaza residents (more than 400,000 work permits were issued), and invested in enterprises.

The leadership of Hamas used the money annually provided to them for living by the European Union, Qatar, UN funds, Arab countries, Israel, and the USA for corruption (the top leadership of Hamas with billion-dollar fortunes lives in Qatar) and for creating terrorist infrastructure.

A colossal multi-level underground city with a total tunnel length of 500 km was built under the northern areas of Gaza. Hamas traditionally places rocket nests in multi-story houses, schools, and kindergartens, and weapon depots under hospitals.

October 7 and what followed

After the sadistic killings on October 7, Israel was in shock. No one in the country had ever seen such cruelty. 1,392 people, sadistically (!) killed in a single day… Joyful dances and celebrations in the streets of Gaza. Videos of killings and abuse of hostages, filmed by the terrorists themselves. All of this absolutely shook tiny Israel. Among the killed and hostages were many acquaintances, neighbors, colleagues, and relatives of all Israelis.

The response was evident – the destruction of Hamas, whose official goal is not to create its own state, not to liberate territories, but to kill people and destroy Israel. And then – all unbelievers. In other words, there is no one to talk to there.

This is not about the Palestinian people but about the terrorists of Hamas.

Two million Palestinians are citizens of Israel. The parties representing them in the Israeli parliament condemned HAMAS. The West Bank is calm.

Most Israelis and international experts are convinced that behind the unexpected and wildly cruel Hamas attack is Iran, the main enemy of Israel. Having coordinated its actions with Russia, which benefits from the appearance of a new hotspot of tension amid the war in Ukraine. Iran became frightened by the signing of a peace agreement between its strategic opponent, Saudi Arabia and Israel. Now, it is trying to “ignite” Israel by forcing its funded Hezbollah to attack from the north – from Lebanon, pro-Iranian groups – from Syria, and, of course, by rocking the boat, to incite the West Bank and Arab cities in Israel itself. The Arab world reacts differently. The UAE and Saudi Arabia strongly condemned Hamas and demanded the release of hostages. Egypt and Jordan are not ready to let the residents of Gaza in.

Israel cannot remain silent and not respond – it is a question of the country’s survival.

The main question is how to respond.

Terrorists hide in tunnels, use civilians as shields, prevent them from moving to safer southern areas of Gaza, shoot from kindergartens and schools, trying to provoke a retaliatory strike. And most importantly – they conduct propaganda successfully, producing fakes on an industrial scale.

The story of the allegedly bombed hospital, which stands intact, is an excellent example of a Hamas fake. All the figures of those killed in Gaza are from Hamas. All videos, all photos – from them. It must be admitted that they work qualitatively; they have learned a lot. Of course, civilians die in Gaza. And a lot. And it is a terrible tragedy.

But it is the terrorists who are to blame for their deaths.

Don’t forget that Hamas took over 250 hostages, the majority of whom are women and children. If they were all released, some talks might still be possible. The situation is dramatic, but presenting it as victims of Russian and Iranian propaganda or numerous leftists in the West do, following Hamas fakes, is irresponsible. And, in my opinion, immoral.

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