How To Read the Economic and Social Implications of the War on Gaza - Gaza War Economy Brief Number 4
As the Israeli military aggression against the Gaza Strip and its resilient people continues and escalates, targeting the Palestinian people wherever they may be, and in light of the accumulating humanitarian tragedies in Gaza and the horrible human losses that continue increasing day by day, the economic implications of these events may seem to be secondary affairs. After the fourth week of the war, with the uncertainty about its timeline and its potential military and geopolitical outcomes, attempts to estimate its eventual cost or potential losses appear hypothetical and academic today. Such estimates are questionable or inappropriate while children continue to fall, and while blood continues to be shed.
Therefore, at this early stage, it is possible to identify and highlight the most prominent expected channels of impact of the war on the Palestinian economy and its consequences, as well as the nature of the ongoing and forthcoming economic, financial, and social shocks for which we must be prepared to respond to their implications. In addition, the discussion on the reconstruction of Gaza and making it viable in the aftermath
of this catastrophe is also premature, especially amidst what Israel and the United States are promoting in terms of the “governance” arrangements for the Gaza Strip in what is called “the day after.” The field results of the war will determine the fate and path of this complex and critical issue and whether Israel’s declared objectives of destroying/removing/ending Hamas’s rule in Gaza are achieved or fail, which are outcomes that cannot be speculated about usefully.
To facilitate the task of understanding the various occurring and expected impacts, it is necessary to separate the diagnosis of the Gaza Strip from that of the West Bank’s economy and neighboring Palestinian territories (occupied Jerusalem and the 1948-occupied territories). All of these areas, inhabited by 7 million Palestinians, will be subject to similar shocks and Israeli hostile and discriminatory economic policies, with a significant
difference between what is happening in Gaza and the rest of the Palestinian territories.