# 1 Israeli soldier - Comment - Israel News | Haaretz Daily Newspaper
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    • Ben Alofs
    • 14.05.07 | 18:49 (IDT)

    I quite agree with you that a political solution is the only feasible way to solve the problem of the Qassem missiles. I think Israel made a serious mistake by closing off the Strip after pulling out, including closing the airport and preventing any further building of the seaport. By making it impossible for the Palestinians to export their produce freely and welcome tourists to the beaches of Gaza, by refusing to let the older male population with security clearance work in Israel, Gaza became the desperate pressure cooker it now is. By 'disengaging' in the way it did, without following up with confidence building measures, Israel ensured the kind of engagement it hadn't counted on. Conclusion: give the Gazans hope, give them the feeling that they have something to lose. Allow them to trade and receive visitors. Success is not guaranteed, but not trying this approach would be politically unwise. Remember, an intercepting missile costs $100.000, building a Qassem a few dollars.

    from the article: What next in Gaza? / A rocket and a hard place
    First published 00:00 14.05.07 | Last updated 00:00 14.05.07
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