As with many major crises, the catastrophic Oct. 7 Hamas onslaught on Israel and ensuing war in Gaza offer an opportunity for change. This policy paper proposes guidelines for a post-war roadmap to long-term economic, security, and political stability in Gaza.
The approach proposed in this paper combines an “economic leap” plan with a political arrangement within the framework of regional economic cooperation, according to the following principles: (1) ending the war in Gaza with the collapse of the Hamas regime and its replacement with a stable governmental system that combines the legitimacy of the Palestinian Authority and deep international and regional involvement, (2) a comprehensive two-stage economic plan for Gaza, consisting of an “immediate response and reconstruction plan” and concurrently, implementing an “economic leap” plan that will place the Gaza Strip on a path of rapid and stable long-term economic growth, (3) the Gaza Strip’s economic boost plan will form part of a broader blueprint for the Palestinian Authority’s economic boost. The economic plan will integrate and support the political arrangement and stabilization of the Israeli-Palestinian system.
Jumpstarting Gaza’s economy, and the Palestinian economy in general, will be achieved through a combination of several elements, chief among them: (1) a series of “game-changing” projects in the Gaza Strip and West Bank, (2) continue the deep ties of Gaza with the Israeli economy and West Bank, (3) develop economic ties with the Gulf bloc as another strong economic partner, along with Israel, (4) integrate Gaza and the West Bank into the economic cooperation processes taking place in the region and into major regional projects, (5) The elements mentioned above would be reflected in a quantum leap in the scope of investments in the Palestinian economy.
An economic boost is vital to ensure the success of the the political goals, and vice versa. Ending the war without implementing the guidelines proposed here would abandon Gaza again to radical Palestinian forces and take Gaza and Israel back to where they were on the eve of Oct. 7. Namely, instability in Gaza and an Israeli policy of “managing” the conflict at varying levels of violence. The terrible cost of this policy is tragically clear.
* This document is part of a series of policy papers which is a product of a joint project by the Mitvim Institute and the Berl Katzenelson Foundation to reflect on the post-war era with the support of the new Israel Fund.