Haaretz, Oct 31, 2017


Freedom? The vast majority of civilians can’t leave the Strip in war or peace.

Democracy? The international boycott imposed on Hamas after the 2006 election - judged free and fair by international monitors - was hardly an endorsement of democracy; and arguably it helped drive Hamas closer to Iran.

Enterprise? A 10-year Israeli-imposed ban on almost all agricultural and manufacturing exports has all but wiped out a private sector, much of it owned by businessmen like Bahtiti, with little love for Hamas and who once enjoyed close relations with their Israeli suppliers and customers [....]

And this is not just a criticism of the U.S. Even before it colluded in Mahmoud Abbas’s last round of harsh sanctions on Gaza, the EU, as the PA’s biggest donor, stood by as the Palestinian president used European taxpayers' money to pay tens of thousands of employees, including teachers and medics, to stay at home rather than work for the Hamas de facto government - and their own fellow citizens.