The head of the Israeli Southern Command, Maj. Gen. Herzi Halevi, has warned that the economic development of the Gaza Strip could lead to increased terror.
"You have to show us that Gaza's economic development does not lead to the development of terrorist capabilities," Halevi told representatives of the World Zionist Organization at the Gaza Division.
“When terrorist capabilities develop - then there will be war.”
The Israeli army is “very strong,” he said.
“The stronger the capabilities in Gaza are, the stronger will be the force that we will have to exert. And then we will take Gaza, once again, very much backwards in time," he added.
Halevi’s remarks were a clear sign of Israel’s rejection to end the blockade on Gaza to end the suffering of its people. According to the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics, poverty has risen to 53 percent and unemployment to 80 percent in Gaza.
The UN Relief and Works Agency, UNRWA, said in May that more than half of Gaza’s population depends on food aid from the international community.
Some 620,000 abject poor cannot cover their basic food needs and have to survive on $1.6 per day, it added.