It describes a briefing given to Embassy officials by senior members of the Israeli Shin Bet*, on how Israel uses the banking system in Gaza to increase the political influence of the Palestinian Authority () in Gaza, by attempting to starve the Hamas government of cash.Ok, Israel prefers collaborators to resistance. Not much new there except the co-option of the Gaza banks. But here are some interesting stats, albeit provided by Shin Bet:
According to the leaked cable, Gaza’s de-facto Hamas government spends an estimated budget of $290 million annually, on a population of approximately 1.5 million residents.But what about the currency situation?
The report further elaborates that the circulation of Israeli Shekels () in Gaza is increasing, while foreign currency supplies are dwindling. This is clearly a direct result of thealmost total ban on exports from Gaza (although Gazan merchants may still import certain products) – yet the Shin Bet kept silent regarding the reason for the shortage in foreign currency.So there we have it. The most powerful state on the planet and the state to which Palestinians are encouraged to look for the fulfilment of their aspirations is colluding with Israel so that Israel can make a few shekels at the expense of Gaza's 1.5 million people.
Still the news in from Egypt suggests that change may be on the way....