Israel Can’t Reoccupy Gaza Because of This!

Talk of the reoccupation of Gaza  by the Israeli extreme rightwing in the Netanyahu cabinet is hot air because of the economic difficulties such a step would entail. 

Hamas Fighter

The reoccupation of Gaza would cost the Israeli treasury $6 billion annually. And this is just for keeping a standing army to try and impose its rule on the Gaza Strip.  Such would  include at least four offensive army divisions and a defensive one to deal with a boiling situation in Gaza.

The war on the Gaza Strip, started soon after 7 October, 2023, has been devastating for the Israeli economy. It has so far cost the treasury $67 billion with a GDP loss of 7 percent. It, the Israeli treasury – Ministry of Finance – has to find such capital outlays and that means taking large chunks  from the “social budget” in an already tense Jewish street that wants Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to make a deal with Hamas and release the around 128 hostages left in the hands of the organization.

According to Al Jazeera channel $30 billion more is needed immediately to cover the  expenditure for this coming stage of the war. With continual talk about the invasion of the Rafah and military offensives in the center and north of Gaza, the financial drainage is likely to continue to drive an Israeli war machine that has already lost around 1500 tanks and military vehicles not to mention the high human cost.

To say the Israeli economy is in recession is an understatement for the Israeli public debt has shot up to $300 billion as registered till the end of last year. This means the country is in a catastrophic economic situation even with the annual American aid dubbed at over $3 billion and the fact that Israel is continually borrowing from international financial institutions at high interest rates rates to finance the war.


Far-fetched

There is another side to this bloody genocide that killed more 35,000 and injured more than 77,000 Palestinians.  Before Israel starts thinking about the reoccupation of Gaza and worrying about its economic consequences, it needs to win the war first. While it may have viciously destroyed the infrastructure of Gaza, its soldiers have not managed to control the strip. They are being fought tooth and nail by the Palestinian resistance that includes Hamas and Islamic Jihad.

As well and according to their estimations, the Israeli army needs a good few years, until 2026 and possibly 2027 to establish control and try to eradicate Hamas as Netanyahu claims. For its part, the army is more realistic than the Israeli leaders for they – and are openly saying – we don’t want to re-occupy Gaza under any circumstances.

Dr Asmar is an Amman-based writer covering Middle East affairs

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