“Israel strives to allow normal civilian life in Gaza”. This may be the key statement in an item posted on the IDF Spokesperson’s website yesterday. How is Israel striving to allow normal civilian life in Gaza? According to the post, it allows “thousands of trucks” into the Strip every day. It’s not clear how the army can say it allows thousands of trucks into the Strip in one paragraph and in the next that 921 trucks entered over the last week, but who’s counting? Israel allows goods in and that’s what matters.
Israel puts a lot of time and energy into showing how many goods enter Gaza each day. This post and the infographic which accompanies it follow an animated video clip and daily tweets by the IDF Spokesperson (example). But “normal civilian life” can’t be based only on goods coming into Gaza. A normal civilian economy also needs export. For some reason, on this issue, there are no impressive infographics. Maybe this is because last week, only seven truckloads of goods left the Gaza Strip and that’s not a very impressive number.
Without export, there can be no real economic development in Gaza. Without real economic development in Gaza, Israel will have to flaunt the 25% unemployment rate in the Strip as an achievement without revealing that this figure relates to the second fiscal quarter of 2011 and that in the following quarter, unemployment rose to 28%.