Trump Administration Pushing for Gulf Investment in Gaza
A month after protests that left over 50 killed at the Gaza-Israel border, U.S. President Donald Trump is asking Gulf states to invest in energy projects in the strip. According to a report described in the Middle East Monitor, Trump’s Administration wants Gulf countries to spend hundreds of millions of dollars on a solar energy project, a port in northern Sinai, a power plant, and a water desalination plant in Gaza. Investing in these projects is an attempt to develop Gaza’s economy and calm the tensions that have been contributing to the large protests. Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser, and Jason Greenblatt, the president’s special envoy, will speak to the leaders of Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan and Israel this week to propose the idea and encourage them to assist.
Since the Sunni-Islamist party Hamas won control over Gaza in 2007, the region has been suffering from high poverty and unemployment rates, little access to public health, restricted movement between borders, food insecurity, poor sanitation and frequent power cuts. Hamas has made clear that the goal of the organization is to liberate Palestine from Israeli occupation, and since the organization gained power, Israel has imposed a blockade that has contributed to the struggles that Gaza residents face. However, Hamas’ poor distribution of aid and failure to develop Gaza’s economy and invest in sustainable infrastructure has also led to the conditions we see today. If President Trump’s proposal is approved and the funds for it are secured, Gaza could witness major improvements in standards of living and economic opportunities.
By Yakin Ouederni