The terrorist threat Israel faces is an unusual one: the terrorist organizations seeking to destroy it control their own territory, making them a kind of semi-state.
The armed, fundamentalist entities situated on Israel’s borders have control over their own land, and they govern populations. This creates an inherent contradiction between their hardline Islamist ideologies on the one hand, and their self-preservation interests on the other.
This paradox is playing out most visibly in the Gaza Strip. Hamas is trying to relieve the security blockade over its enclave, using a range of violent pressure tactics to achieve this goal, as it tries to avoid an economic meltdown in Gaza.
Yet it is unwilling to stop enlarging its arsenal of offensive weapons that it points at Israel, meaning that Gaza’s economy remains dysfunctional.
Hamas has failed to prioritize Gaza’s civilian needs, despite being the government. Instead of tackling unemployment, or doing whatever it takes to ensure a steady electricity supply, it is trying to intimidate Israel, and pressure the Palestinian Authority and Egypt into rescuing Gaza’s economy. Unemployment in Gaza is at 44 percent, and it stands at more than 60 percent for young people, many of whom have university degrees. Most of Gaza’s estimated 2 million residents have access to about four hours of electricity per day, and its water sources face depletion in the coming years.