Lifting access restrictions is the key to reconstruction and development

May 31, 2015. Eitan Diamond, Gisha’s executive director, took part in a conference held by the Institute for National Security Studies titled The Palestinian Arena: Twists and Turns.

At the conference, held on May 19, Diamond said (Hebrew) that “One of the central elements in the difficult situation in the Gaza Strip today is the strict restrictions Israel imposes on access into and out of Gaza. Lifting these restrictions is also the key to reconstruction and development […] There’s no economy without access. There has to be a balance between import and export, there have to be opportunities for improving education, for expanding businesses, for a functioning civil society, and there have to be means for building and developing civilian infrastructure”.

“Someone once said that Palestine might be the Singapore of the Middle East. However, in the current conditions, an even a much more modest goal of having an independent, functioning economy that allows people to have normal lives and which gives a modicum of hope cannot be fulfilled. For that, there has to be freedom of movement between the two parts of the Palestinian territory, Gaza and the West Bank, and some access to the rest of the world. This can be done without paying too heavy a price in security. Moreover, it may actually be beneficial in terms of security. There is potential for policy change in access to be beneficial for everyone, for the Palestinians and for us. As an international legal scholar, I can say that it’s the right thing to do. What I was trying to say here today, is that it’s also what’s worth doing”.