It is hard to understand why the members of the Knesset's Foreign Affairs and Security Committee were surprised at the report of the head of the Israel Defense Forces’ (IDF) military intelligence directorate, Gen. Herzl Halevi, who said at a Feb. 23 hearing, “The humanitarian condition in Gaza is progressively deteriorating, and if it blows up, it’ll be in Israel’s direction.” Where were the Knesset members in recent years, when reports from the Gaza Strip painted a very grim picture of almost 2 million residents living under siege, in terrible economic distress, in unemployment, in ruins, in frustration and in depression? If not for the food banks run by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East, the Gaza Strip would have already become a humanitarian catastrophe and many of its residents could have died of starvation.
Have any members of the most prestigious committee of the Knesset bothered to read the UN report published in September, which determined that if current trends continue, Gaza could become uninhabitable by 2020? Or perhaps they thought of the report as another anti-Israel publication from the United Nations. In contrast to these Knesset members, from what the chief of military intelligence said it seems he has actually adopted the report’s conclusions.