Netanyahu may be changing his mind about war. If he does, it will be thanks to an environmental and health disaster that threatens to cross the border.
by Sandy Tolan for Foreign Policy
Last week’s cease-fire between Israel and Hamas, following an Israeli military incursion and retaliatory rocket fire from Gaza, may reflect an increasing awareness within Israel that war is not in the country’s self-interest. At the heart of the matter is Gaza’s mounting humanitarian disaster, which threatens to spill over the border.
For months, the United Nations and other humanitarian groups have warned that Gaza—with its overlapping problems of poverty, unemployment, malnutrition, contaminated water, and disease—will be “unlivable” by 2020. The U.N., the World Bank, Save the Children, and other groups even cautioned that continued Israeli bombing and economic blockade could bring Gaza to a state of collapse, from which Israel would not be immune.
Such warnings are nothing new. The difference now is that people at the center of power in Israel appear to be listening.
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