Thank you for your prayers as the cease fire continues to hold here in Israel and Gaza. There have been some sporadic occurrences in the West Bank and various places – but all in all things are quiet relative to the last four weeks.
I heard someone say that it seems overall that the Middle East is at the worst it's been in a long time… that may be so, and here is why;
The collapse of much of the middle east is the result of many things. Decades of dictators ruling and discontent among their peoples, the minority ruling over the majority – frustrated young people, who make up the majority of the populations… feeling that they have no futures.
One of the reasons for this is that we have multiple unstable situations in the region. In Israel, with the situation in Gaza – it is fueled by decades of what essentially is an unresolved conflict. Gaza has suffered three conflicts in five years – but this is by far the worst.
Behind this conflict is that the economic desperation of Gaza has reached a critical level after nearly eight years of an Israeli blockade of living supplies to the 1.8 million people who call the coastal strip 'home'.
Some say that this is a deliberate tactic Israel has developed with the Gazans in order to generate a crisis and keep their own interests afloat. Others would argue that Hamas's continued refusal to accept the reality of Israel's existence is to blame.
Israel's limitations on building materials, some medical supplies, even food make Gazans dependent upon the will of Israel in what they can do with their lives. Even fishing in the Mediterranean Sea is restricted. Israel says these steps are necessary to ensure it's security because the restricted materials could be used in terror attacks against the State.
As a result of no sea port for commerce, no airport to the outside world, closed borders with Israel, and little cooperation with Egypt – there is very little import or export – and this means there is no trade, which boils down to no economy. There is no money going into Gaza since Egypt closed the smuggling tunnels used over the last 7 years to get supplies into and out of Gaza.
Hamas is feeling more isolated – but they know they are firmly in control of Gaza and thus to keep their position they have fought this conflict because the hardship it creates can easily be placed upon Israel – so they have nothing to loose – as they face financial troubles themselves with having less supporters in the Arab World today.
Middle East Correspondent