Sunni Skies
Saudi Arabia: The New Sheriff on the Gaza Strip?
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  • Andrew Allison
  • Peripatetic

    Here’s something I’ve never understood: why not insist that the materials, supplies, and labor for reconstructing Gaza be provided by someone outside of Gaza? Is handing over large sums of money really the only way to rebuild?

    • Andrew Allison

      Most of the materials and supplies already come from outside Gaza (given the blockade, it would be interesting to know where all the building materials that went into the tunnels came from). Paying foreign labor to rebuild would probably not sit too well with the, largely unemployed, local labor force. What’s needed is external supervision of the use to which the materials are put. Unhappily (see above) the UN has disqualified itself from that role. Since the Saudi’s have both stepped up to the reconstruction mark and are no friends of Hamas, it’s pretty clear where it should come from (he who pays the piper and all that).

      • Breif2

        “given the blockade, it would be interesting to know where all the building materials that went into the tunnels came from”

        Originally, much of these materials were indeed blockaded. Israel was obviously denounced as a big ol’ meanie and its concerns were pooh-poohed. Following the famous flotilla incident, it gave in mostly to American pressure, and allowed the transfer of building materials for projects supervised by the Palestinian Authority and international bodies. Insert hollow laugh here.

        (And this leads us to one of the things that drives me up the wall about the recent criticism of Israel: the current round of fighting in Gaza has been (relatively) bloody mostly because of conditions that Israel was pressured into accepting by the very do-gooders now howling in outrage.)

        • Curious Mayhem

          Israel has always allowed food and medical supplies to enter Gaza and has always tried to interdict weapons or weapon materials. The controversy is over materials that fall in the gray zone in between. After the 2010 incident, Israel loosened the criteria to move the line further into the gray zone. But as we now know, building materials intended for homes, schools, and clinics can also be used — and have been used — to build bunkers, ammunition depots, and tunnels.

          Having a state (not the “international community”) inspect what’s going on in Gaza was always the right thing. Obviously, Israel is not acceptable for many parties in the region (and it’s not clear Israel would want that responsibility). So Egypt or Saudi Arabia have always been the logical parties. Both want to appear as champions of Palestinians and other Arab residents of Gaza, both are hostile to Hamas — the Egyptians especially having a direct stake in policing not just Gaza, but Sinai next door.

    • Johnny May

      Why? What have international organizations to gain by stopping Hamas from abusing their supplies to rearm and rebuild its military infrastructure?

    • rheddles

      Is handing over large sums of money really the only way to rebuild?

      If you’re a welfare queen.

  • lukelea

    “In a sense, they’d be buying up the Palestinian movement, depriving Iran of its ability to play the anti-Israel, pro-Palestine card in the struggle for religious legitimacy in the Islamic world.”

    But only so that they can play that card themselves. It would be unorthodox to expect anything else.

  • Breif2

    And once again the Saudis, acting in their own interest, prove themselves to be useful if not indispensable.

    My fantasy will have to wait.

  • ljgude

    I think it was pretty obvious, those in eternal denial excepted of course, that dear old Hummus was stuck on stupid this time around. So the tectonic plates of the stuck on stupid Middle East are perhaps shifting. One way to accelerate change is to indulge in ever more extreme behavior with the result that even you allies eventually ditch you. Good to see the Saudis and al Sisi (Obama’s inadvertent gift to the world) putting the squeeze on Qatar. And Iran.

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