Gaza Changed Everything, But Its People Still Suffer
by Helena Cobban
17 Apr 09 | IPS
Three months after the end of Israel’s war against Hamas in Gaza, and nearly four months after former prime minister Ehud Olmert started it, the standoff between Israel and Hamas is as unresolved as ever.
Gaza’s 1.5 million residents, nearly all of them civilians, are still in a very tough situation, since Israel still prohibits the shipment into Gaza of many requirements for a decent life – including the building materials needed to repair or rebuild the thousands of homes and other structures the Israeli military destroyed during the war.
But it is already clear that the war has changed many aspects of the complex political dynamics both between and inside the Israeli and Palestinian communities.
Hamas, simply by surviving, has become stronger both within Palestinian politics and throughout the broader Middle East.
In the Israeli elections of early February Olmert’s party was defeated – by representatives of an even more militarist trend in Israel whose rise was fueled, in good part, by the war-fever unleashed among Jewish Israelis by Olmert’s own war. >>>