Figures on January foreign tourist hotel stays are not yet available, but December's numbers were down 9% compared to December 2014 and 28% compared to December 2013.05:09 10.02.16 | 0 comments
Earlier polls of Palestinians were much more positive. Danny Rubinstein's interpretation appears to be correct; as the economic situation gets harsher, the Palestinians harden their stance against Israel. What does this mean for the future of Israel's Gaza policy? Israel wants to isolate the Gazans and make their life much harder with the hope that it will change their attitude towards Hamas. But there is a good chance that the Gazans will just become more dedicated Hamasniks. I am here assuming that life will really become much harder in Gaza. This is not so obvious to me. The Europeans will continue to provide food and other humanitarian aid, and Iran will add guns and butter to make life more pleasant. The immediate result of the Israeli policy is that Qassams will keep coming. But Iran's increasing influence over Hamas may turn Gaza into a real risk to its neighbors Israel and Egypt, and the IDF will have to go in for a cleanup, at a cost of hundreds of soldiers' lives.