Feb. 24, 2017
Last week Israeli Defense Minister Liberman offered to provide Gaza with a huge level of assistance, in return for Hamas shutting down their rocket attacks and closing their attack tunnels. In return, senior Hamas leader Mahmoud al-Zahar turned down the offer, claiming that if Gaza wanted to be like Singapore, it would have already done so.
The truth is that for a while, in the 1970’s, Gaza rivalled — and even surpassed — Singapore.
In “What Occupation?“, Efraim Karsh writes about how severe the situation of the Palestinian Arabs following the 1967 War:
The larger part, still untold in all its detail, is of the astounding social and economic progress made by the Palestinian Arabs under Israeli “oppression.” At the inception of the occupation, conditions in the territories were quite dire. Life expectancy was low; malnutrition, infectious diseases, and child mortality were rife; and the level of education was very poor. Prior to the 1967 war, fewer than 60 percent of all male adults had been employed, with unemployment among refugees running as high as 83 percent. Within a brief period after the war, Israeli occupation had led to dramatic improvements in general well-being, placing the population of the territories ahead of most of their Arab neighbors.
…During the 1970’s, the West Bank and Gaza constituted the fourth fastest-growing economy in the world-ahead of such “wonders” as Singapore, Hong Kong, and Korea, and substantially ahead of Israel itself.[emphasis added]