Without a seaport, freedom of movement and economic development, Gaza can’t be Singapore

“Putting pressure on the civilian population hasn’t achieved anything – including Israel’s security”. Jabbour.

“Putting pressure on the civilian population hasn’t achieved anything – including Israel’s security”. Jabbour.

October 13, 2014, In an interview for the prime time Israeli news program “London and Kirschenbaum”, on Channel 10, Iman Jabbour, research director at Gisha, talked about the scope of the damage in Gaza and about possibilities for reconstruction. “Entire neighborhoods have been wiped out and have to be re-planned, not just a single house here and there”, Jabbour said. “At present, there are 17,000 homes that have been destroyed and need to be rebuilt. That’s 100,000 people who were made homeless. Even if Israel allows the transfer of large quantities of construction materials, the required quantities of construction materials, reconstruction will take years. The projections on this are truly pessimistic”.

“The rhetoric has changed completely. Even top Israeli officials have said the closure was ineffective. They tried it for seven years, and it wasn’t effective. Putting pressure on the civilian population hasn’t achieved anything – including Israel’s security, so what really needs to be done is to lift the closure. The money that’s going to come from donor countries won’t guarantee development, just reconstruction. All access restrictions must be lifted to enable people to create jobs, build the private sector, [allow] travel between the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, to connect these two areas”.

Jabbour also said that “Gaza can’t be Singapore so long as there is no seaport, no freedom of movement between it and the West Bank and no economic development. How are goods going to be exported without a seaport? When Israel lifts all travel restrictions and relinquishes its massive control over Gaza’s entire outer envelope, there really will be hope for economic development.

To watch the full interview (Hebrew) click here.