Has anything changed for Palestinians after the Israeli withrawal from Gaza?
October 21, 2005 5:59 PM   Subscribe

Has anything changed for Palestinians after the Israeli withrawal from Gaza?
posted by Manouk to Society & Culture (5 answers total)
In two words, not really... Israel's withdrawl is not going to help things at all until there is economic freedom, and by that I mean the ability for Palestinians to move goods around without hassles, and that basically needs Israeli cooperation. the Defense Ministry has recently agreed that the Palestinian economy is a matter of Israeli security but the effor that they will put in helping Palestinians has to be seen. In the current security situation there will be a requirement of a bunch of money and effort on border technology.

Anyways some relevant links, build off these (check out the World Bank's page) The Bank has recently said that it might take over Palestinian borders, which would be a good thing.

Here's an interview with Abbas through the Center for Foreign Relations, and another analysis of what needs to be done.

Finally here's the BBC's page.
posted by stratastar at 6:42 PM on October 21, 2005

Key things I would note:

* They don't have all those Israeli checkpoints hampering even the most basic and mundane errands
* They have full access to the beach
* They don't have Israeli settlements inside Gaza acting as an attractive nuisance for terrorist attacks leading to IDF retaliations
* They don't have trigger-happy IDF soldiers shooting kids who look the slightest bit threatening but aren't, really
* They don't have landmines everywhere
posted by dhartung at 1:04 AM on October 22, 2005

I'm pretty sure those landmines are still there. Landmines don't just automatically disappear -- making an area landmine free can be a process that takes years of dedicated work.

And the IDF doesn't have more trigger happy soldiers than any other army. Both sides are somewhat trigger happy, really.

Speaking more to the direct question, the day to day lives of Palestinians living in Gaza are improved, although not by much. The greater outlook for Palestinians, which is not what you're asking but should be the real question, is still entirely up in the air. It's hard to know if this was Sharon's bid to hold back the conservative faction in his government, showing them that they don't have any influence over him, or if this was Sharon wanting to give the Palestinians something so that he can make larger demands later, or if this is a real and earnest effort for change.
posted by incessant at 10:48 AM on October 22, 2005

Missing from dhartung's list:

*They got a buncha "free" buildings (including the famous "greenhouses" and some farmland). Though some of these were looted, they weren't destroyed, and thus can become offices / houses / businesses / farms.

*They have free or at least much improved access to Egypt's Sinai Peninsula. Just after the handover thousands of PA residents streamed into Egypt to visit friends and just to hit the beach. Probably weapons and other contraband (including drugs) are coming in via this border crossing. But this is a big step for Israel -- historically they tried to negotiate their continued control of the border crossing. The fact that they said "screw it" and left without getting this concession means that they're pretty serious (IMO).

*They will probably be able to open their port and maybe their airport (what passports will people use when coming and going via these modes of transport is a Zen Koan at this point).

* No more Jews living in their cities. Which is a bit of an obvious one. But it's pretty clear to me that the proximity of those *particular* Jews and those *particular* Palestinians certainly wasn't helping (my point here has nothing to do with the hundreds of thousands of Jews and Palestinians who get along just fine in Haifa, Jerusalem, and even in the West Bank, nor with Israeli-Arabs, who also number in the tens of thousands). So maybe not having Jewish communities as a constant reminder will be a good thing, at least in the medium term. I personally think that long term, it's better when people can make personal connections to one another that cross these Jet-versus-Shark lines. A couple of intercultural marriages would do wonders...
posted by zpousman at 11:49 AM on October 22, 2005

zpousman: Since the mid-90s, the Palestinian Authority has issued formal "travel documents" that have the same appearance, though perhaps not the same legal standing, as passports.
posted by dhartung at 11:53 PM on October 24, 2005

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