'Israel aimed to keep Gaza economy on brink of collapse'

WikiLeaks cable reveals: Officials planned to keep Gaza economy functioning at lowest possible level without causing humanitarian crisis.

gaza blockade gas AP (photo credit: AP)
gaza blockade gas AP
(photo credit: AP)
In the period before Operation Cast Lead, Israeli officials said the aim of the blockade of Gaza was to keep the Strip’s economy on the brink of collapse, a US diplomatic cable obtained by Norwegian paper Aftenposten revealed on Wednesday.
The cable, dated November 3, 2008, and released by whistle-blower web site WikiLeaks, suggested that Israeli intelligence agencies and politicians said that the plan was to keep the Gazan economy functioning at the lowest possible level without causing a humanitarian crisis.
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US efforts to pressure Israel into allowing larger money transfers into Gaza were unsuccessful, according to the cable.
In December 2008, the US offered to transfer NIS 250 million in an attempt to ease the situation in Gaza but Defense Ministry official Maj.-Gen.
(res.) Amos Gilad refused to allow it, saying that the Palestinians should not receive anything, the cable said.
The National Security Council’s counter-terrorism head Danny Arditi said in July 2007 that the goal of the blockade was to damage Hamas’ economic position in Gaza and buy time for an increase in Fatah support, according to anther US diplomatic cable released to Aftenposten.
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