Outlined in the previous section regarding the Gaza Strip's humanitarian situation, an improvement in the quality of life of Gazans would increase the likelihood of stability on Israel's border with the Strip, Palestinian reunification, and further pave the way for a two-state reality.
The opportunities available to Israel, the Palestinian Authority, and the international community - although limited - include a range of civil-economic measures that will both improve everyday life for Palestinians and provide them with hope for progress on a final status agreement down the road.
Given the fact that aid to Gaza will bolster the reputation of Hamas, hurt the Palestinian Authority, and suggest that Israel yields to the use of force, Israel must come up with creative solutions to limit this damage. Thus, relief to Gaza should be packaged with far-reaching measures to improve conditions in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.
As recommended by the defense establishment and international aid officials, Israel should focus its efforts in Gaza on several urgent issues:
SUPPLY OF BASIC GOODS
The number of delivery trucks that are allowed to enter the Strip on a daily basis should be increased to 1,200. This goal is feasible thanks to upgrades to the Kerem Shalom Crossing’s inspection apparatus, including new scanning equipment installed in April of 2015.
INCREASING EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES
Subject to the approval of the Israeli General Security Service (Shabak), considerably more exit permits should be issued to Gazans wishing to work in Israel. Moreover, there should be a major increase in agricultural and manufacturing exports to Israel and abroad. Israeli companies must also be permitted to renew outsourcing from the Strip. Lastly, the area off the Gazan coast that is open to Palestinian fishing should be expanded.
ESTABLISHING WATER DESALINATION FACILITIES
Israel should grant permission for the establishment of a central water desalination facility, as wall as allowing the completion of water treatment plants in the northern and central portions of the Gaza Strip.
REBUILDING ELECTRICITY INFRASTRUCTURE
Paid for by the international community, this work will be carried out by aid organizations - including the reconstruction and upgrading of transmission lines in Gaza, increasing the amount of power supplied by the Israeli Electric Corporation, expanding the capacity of Gaza’s power station and refitting it to operate on natural gas, and connecting the Strip to Israel’s national gas transmission network.