The Palestinian Arab economic situation, who's to blame?
The Palestinian Arab economic situation, who's to blame?

News outlets and international forums are quick to accuse Israel with stories of Palestinian Arab poverty, but if there is poverty who is responsible?

Take Gaza, for example. Let's put to rest the false Palestinian Arab moan that poverty exists in the Gaza Strip because of: 

a. Israeli oppression

b. Gaza being the most densely populated place on earth.

Both theories are wrong.

a. The Israel oppression lie:

Whenever  Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad stop their rockets, border violence and terror, thousands of Gazans enter Israel daily to work and bring money back to their families. There was once even a railway to Tel Aviv.  And Israeli salaries are higher than those under corrupt Palestinian Arab mismanagement.

Also, whenever Palestinian Gazan rockets stop flying into Israeli civilian centers, a thousand trucks roll into Gaza from Israel daily bringing everything that Gazans need to lead comfortable and healthy lives.

So their economic situation is a factor of living under the corrupt oppressive Hamas yoke that prefers war to wealth. And the distribution that gives nothing to the poor or to Fatah members, only to Hamas upper echelons. If you click, you can see the shopping mall, the amply supplied Gaza souk (filled with people when there are no rockets flying which cause fear of reprisal) and the high rise luxury hotels near the pristine beach.

b. The Population density lie;

The Gaza Strip has a population density of 5,154 people per sq. km. Compare this with

Mumbai 83,800.

Karachi 59,100.

Cairo 19,376.

Incidentally, the population density of Tel Aviv is greater than the Gaza Strip at 7.606 people per sq. km.
And population density does not have a direct relationship with poverty. Compare the Gaza Strip's demographics of 5,154 to

Wealthy Hong Kong 6,659 per

Rich Monaco 19,426 per

Even Greater London has a density of more than three times that of the Gaza Strip - 14,550 per sq. mile.

So Gaza Strip's economic condition has less to do with population density than it has to do with a brutal, corrupt Hamas leadership that steals prosperity from the people and wastes it on its obsessive terror war against Israel.

Incidentally, the population density of Tel Aviv is greater than the Gaza Strip at 7.606 people per sq. km.

Palestinian Hamas could learn a few things about population economic policies and management from local Tel Aviv Municipality, even if it is unprepared to learn anything about how to create national prosperity from the national Israeli Government.

But, of course, it won't.  .

Barry Shaw is International Public Diplomacy Director at the Israel Institute for Strategic Studies.