Despite Hamas’ repeated assault on the Kerem Shalom border crossing, the only lifeline that supplies basic goods to civilians in Gaza, Israel has been battling intensively to keep it open.
The episode underlines a much wider phenomenon in which Hamas seeks to create a crisis in order to bring in outside funding for Gaza’s needs, so it can ensure the stability of its regime and keep supporting its military wing.
Meanwhile, the Palestinian Authority seeks to choke off Gaza’s economy to punish Hamas for refusing to disarm its military wing and force it to pay a price for splitting off from the PA.
However, those paying the price for this are the residents of the Gaza Strip.
I was a little behind on my magazine reading, and recently read Karl Vick’s description of the “Great Return March” riots in TIME….
Three times this month, Kerem Shalom was attacked by mobs acting under Hamas instructions. Rioters destroyed fuel pipes that carry critical energy supplies and looted the Palestinian side of the crossing terminal.
According to Israeli intelligence assessments, these actions are part of a wider effort by Hamas to ramp up the pressure on Israel and the international community in order to obtain fresh funds for the collapsing Palestinian economy. The deadly border incidents orchestrated by Hamas this month are part of the same effort. Hamas wants someone else to foot the bill for the civilian economy so it can rescue its regime from collapse.