Last week Avigdor Lieberman, the Israeli defense minister, proposed building both an airport and a seaport in Gaza and creating industrial zones that would employ thousands of locals—if Hamas agreed to demilitarization and the return of the bodies of Israeli soldiers. The rulers of the Strip quickly turned down the deal. Bassam Tawil comments:
Only Israel has ever made such an offer to Hamas. Such a plan would vastly improve the living conditions of Gaza’s population. . . . A seaport and an airport would place the Gaza Strip on the global map and open it to investors not only from Israel but from many other countries as well. [While] Arab and Islamic states . . . are unlikely to rush to invest in Gaza because, by and large, they despise the Palestinians, . . . there is no shortage of investors in the West who, if given the opportunity and the proper political climate, would not hesitate to invest their money in the Gaza Strip.
Sadly for the residents of Gaza, none of this is going to happen. Their leaders in Hamas, some of whom have accumulated large fortunes and are living comfortable lives in oil-rich Gulf countries, are not interested in alleviating their people’s misery. On the contrary, Hamas wants its people suffering, as bitter Palestinians are perfect candidates for recruitment to the jihad against Israel, the Jews, and the West. . . .
“If we wanted to turn the Gaza Strip into Singapore, we could have achieved that with our own hands,” declared the senior Hamas official Mahmoud Zahar. . . . Hamas deserves credit for one thing: its honesty concerning its intentions to destroy Israel and kill as many Jews as possible. Hamas does not want 40,000 new jobs for the poor unemployed Palestinians in the Gaza Strip. It would rather see these unemployed Palestinians join its ranks and become soldiers in its quest to replace Israel with an Islamic empire.