Protectionism meets terrorism

The Economist reports that some in Gaza are rethinking whether pushing Israel to lift its blockade was a good idea:

AFTER three years of campaigning for Israel to lift the siege of Gaza, some of the Islamists ruling the territory are having second thoughts. . . Some Gazans fear that Israeli merchants will sell cheap produce in Gaza, as they used to before the siege.

That’s just standard protectionism, but here’s the fascinating part: Some Gazans, wishing to keep out Israeli goods, took matters into their own hands:

Since Mr Netanyahu’s promise to ease the blockade, an eerie silence has fallen over Gaza’s border with Egypt, which hitherto echoed to the whirl of a thousand winches hauling goods to the surface. Now shopkeepers fear being lumbered with shelves of unwanted tunnel-tattered products, as Israel’s neater goods pour in. In the past, underground traffickers would have organised one of Gaza’s fighting groups to attack an Israeli position in order to provoke a closure and keep trade from Egypt flowing. But as part of its informal non-aggression deal with Israel, Hamas is policing the border and pounces on anyone operating without its consent.

(Emphasis mine.)

It would be very interesting to know how much Palestinian terrorism was perpetrated solely to pad the pockets of smugglers.

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