International Assistance in Gaza: Aiding Fragmentation or Unity? - A view from inside Gaza

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The aim of this report is to contribute to a better understanding of the characteristics and dynamics of Gaza’s internal lines of tensions, as well as the patterns of interactions between international assistance and the conflict context on the ground. The bulk of information gathered for this report was collected through personal interviews and focus group discussions in Gaza, including experts in the fields of international cooperation, conflict resolution and political science.

In assessing the lines of tension (faultlines) in present-day Gaza one should take into consideration the overarching elements and trends that were – and remain – instrumental in shaping social, political and economic realities of Palestinians today. As for Gazans, the dominating overarching trend is one of ever increasing fragmentation, both in political as well as physical terms.

Within this overarching trend of fragmentation four interrelated and mutually reinforcing lines of tension were analyzed in this report: the factional split between Hamas and Fatah, the dividing and weakening effects from the physical blockade, the increasing differences in many spheres between Gaza and the West Bank, and the general population’s alienation from their leadership and institutions.