Omar Shaban

Unlocking the Gaza Strip’s Economic Potential and Fostering Political Stability

Europeans Should Seize the Opportunity of the Rapprochement between Fatah and Hamas

SWP Comments 2017/C 42, October 2017, 8 Pages

Although the UN report of 2012 projected that Gaza would be uninhabitable by 2020, Gaza is likely to collapse into a state of chaos domestically and renewed military confrontation with Israel much earlier. Gaza’s current reality is shaped by the aftermath of military clashes between Israel and Palestinian groups, the tightening of the blockade by Israel in 2007, the closure of the Rafah Crossing by Egypt, and the international community’s no-contact policy towards Hamas. This has created a situation of isolation, in which the infrastructure as well as the social and political fabrics in the Gaza Strip have suffered. Gaza’s once export-oriented economy is now largely defunct, with the population impoverished and dependent on foreign aid. These factors pose serious threats to domestic stability, to Palestinian unity, and to the stability of the sub-region. Immediate intervention by the EU is needed to alleviate the humanitarian crisis, advance Palestinian reconciliation, and lift the Israeli blockade. The current rapprochement between Fatah and Hamas offers opportunities for the Europeans to engage.

SWP Research Paper

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China’s “Belt and Road” Initiative as an Incentive for Intergovernmental Cooperation and Reforms at Central Asia’s Borders


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