One of the repercussions, probably intended, of Operation Protective Edge last summer was to destroy Gaza’s autonomy in a manner that would entail a compromise between resistance to the occupation and the necessity of addressing humanitarian needs.
With most of Gaza in ruins following the Israeli bombardment of the enclave, Hamas made the decision to allow Israeli products into Gaza, to provide relief from shortages. According to Ma’an News Agency, the assistant deputy of the Ministry of Economy, Iman Al-Baz, stated that: “The last war led to the destruction of thousands of factories, which affected the production power [in Gaza], and to fill that gap we decided to allow Zionist products in.”
The prevailing blockade, now compounded with a UN mechanism that, together with Israel and the PA, controls reconstruction material for Gaza, has been a permanent source of problems in Gaza.
While on social media, in particular on Twitter, Zionist supporters are equating the decision with fluctuation in the movement’s commitment towards resistance, it rather signifies yet another imposed concession in the colonisation process.
The conditions that brought an end to Israel’s latest colonial massacre in Gaza echoed previous compromises, rendering the ceasefire an event to manipulate in accordance with Israel’s plans for dominance. Furthermore, the terms of the ceasefire negatively impacted Hamas’ visibility, as well as providing the foundation from which the movement’s resistance would, unwittingly, be diluted by humanitarian conditions necessitating prompt intervention to avoid further crisis.
Just as there is a correlation between humanitarian aid and human rights abuses, in Gaza’s particular circumstances there is a similar pattern linked to the importance of addressing humanitarian concern that exposes Hamas to a series of compromises with the settler-colonial state. Concessions – an integral part of Israel’s colonial process – have been evident in recent decades through various leaders’ capitulations arising out of a lack of autonomy. While allowing the entry of Israeli supplies to counter shortages will alleviate the severe humanitarian conditions, the process itself will create further delays in the reconstruction process, always to Israel’s benefit.
In his statement, Al-Baz added that: “The war damaged the nature of production ability of factories and the nature and quality of the product, because some raw materials are not allowed in.”
Recent UNRWA statements insist that the pledged financial aid to Gaza has not been forthcoming, thus creating further obstacles in the reconstruction process.
According to the Palestinian Information Centre, the prime minister of the Palestinian unity government, Rami Hamdallah, met with UN officials to discuss ways in which the reconstruction process might be accelerated.
As can be seen from recent news briefs regarding reconstruction, the process itself has constituted an additional hindrance to both Palestinians and Hamas. Brokering a ceasefire upon a set of regurgitated conditions intertwined with excessive compromise, including that of collaboration between international organisations and Israel, has exacerbated the humanitarian aspect in a way that coerced Hamas to capitulate to another concession.
Ultimately, Israel’s plan for Palestinians to relinquish resistance in favour of survival would require a strategy to reverse dependence. However, given the aftermath of Protective Edge, the political agenda seems to be dictating otherwise.
The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Monitor.