In This Review

The Gaza Strip: The Political Economy of De-Development

The Gaza Strip: The Political Economy of De-Development
By Sara Roy
372 pp, Institute For Palestine Studies, 1995

Few who have ever visited the Gaza Strip will need to be convinced that it faces enormous economic problems. But was Gaza's underdevelopment inevitable, or was it the result of Israeli policies? Roy argues forcefully that Israeli policy contributed to Gaza's misery by expropriating resources, creating an economy of dependency, and prohibiting the emergence of institutions that might have assisted in the development process. Political, not economic, motives were behind this Israeli policy of "de-development." The Gaza-Jericho agreement of September 1993 caught the author, like most others, by surprise, and she remains skeptical that it will allow Palestinians to gain control over their economic future. It is not clear, however, that Roy's prescription of full political independence and separation from the Israeli economy, even if it could be achieved, would ameliorate the economic problems of the Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza.