The international community has managed to raise some $5.2 billion for the reconstruction of the Gaza Strip but the people of the Gaza Strip are unlikely to see much of it, if any at all.
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has made it quite clear that no monies will be made available to Hamas who govern the Gaza but only to President Mahmoud Abbas and the Fatah-run Palestinian Authority (PA). This straightaway presents a dilemma for the international community since the PA has no authority whatsoever in the Gaza Strip since it was booted out in June 2007 after trying to usurp political power from the elected Hamas government.
For years Fatah have been known to be corrupt to the core; indeed, to a large extent it was Fatah’s corruption that gave Hamas victory in the 2006 Palestinian elections in the first place. Why then would the international community want to hand over $5.2 billion to an organisation that has a long history of being corrupt?
The answer is simple: The promise of money (no one has actually coughed up the money yet; it has only been pledged) is being used for political purposes and has little to do with the actual reconstruction of the Gaza Strip. It is cynically being used to manipulate a series of political outcomes that will benefit only Israel, not least of which will be the hopeful sidelining of Hamas as a political power in the Gaza.
With Hamas unlikely to cede power in the Gaza to the Fatah-run PA, Israeli propaganda, backed by the western media, will accuse Hamas of denying the Gazan people of the prospect of rebuilding the Gaza. Israel will then close up the borders to put more pressure on Hamas to capitulate which, in turn, will result in more rockets and mortars being fired into Israel and so the whole cycle of violence and destruction is perpetuated yet again. The aim ultimately is for a situation to evolve whereby Israel, which by then will be under an extreme right-wing Zionist regime, will tell the world that it has no option but to permanently occupy all of the Gaza Strip and transfer the Palestinians ‘for their own good’ elsewhere.
The world must demand that Israel opens its borders and the world must accept the authority of Hamas in the Gaza Strip. There will be no reconstruction in the Gaza until these demands are made and accepted.