Lock them up in Gaza and don’t be surprised with the brutality

The recent murder in Gaza of Italian human rights activist Vittorio Arrigoni was a shock to all of us. He was killed by a self-proclaimed Salafi jihadi group. The isolation of Gaza almost guarantees some extremism, writes Jared Malsin in Foreign Policy:

Beyond the tragic events of the story itself, however, Arrigoni’s death highlights a complex political context, a web of power relations among various actors in Gaza including Israel, Hamas, the Palestinian Authority, the Salafis, other Palestinian factions, and the international community. At the root of these dynamics is the Israeli and Western policy of isolating Gaza and ignoring Hamas. The crippling four-year-long blockade of Gaza has created the conditions of human misery and desperation in which a handful of people have turned to extremism. A new report from International Crisis Group states that the blockade has amounted to “an assist provided to Salafi-Jihadis, who benefit from…Gaza’s lack of exposure to the outside world.”

Text and images ©2023 Antony Loewenstein. All rights reserved.

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