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As the war in Gaza stretches into its fourth month, speculation is growing regarding the future of the battered coastal enclave. This includes concerns about who will rule Gaza, rebuild its infrastructure, and re-establish its economy while ensuring Israel’s security. To have long-term success in Gaza and the West Bank, a severe conceptual recalibration must take place that emphasizes deradicalizing Palestinian society.

Gaza will need substantial financial help; and it will arrive, as it has since the 1990s, in the form of foreign aid via local and international Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) funded by numerous national governments and private donors. Thus, the global aid community needs to work toward a Palestinian society focused on anti-Israel sentiments.

Since 1993, when parts of the West Bank and Gaza were put under limited Palestinian self-rule through the Oslo Accords, an estimated $40 billion in international aid has flowed to the region. However, instead of deradicalizing and democratizing, Palestinian society grew increasingly extreme, with its leaders supporting deadly terrorism against Israel. In a public opinion poll conducted by the Palestinian Center for Policy Survey and Research (PCPSR), three out of four Palestinians said the attacks of October 7,  where Hamas terrorists murdered more than 1,200 Israelis, mainly civilians, and took more than 200 hostages, were justified.

While Hamas physically diverted a portion of the international aid to build rockets and tunnels. Much of the aid went to the broader NGO community, which normalized antisemitism and fostered bias, hate, and incitement. Mustafa Barghouti, president of the Palestinian Medical Relief Society (PMRS), which received up to $5.5 million in funding between 2020-2023 from the European Union, its member states, and other NGOs, glorified the attack, calling October 7 “a glorious day for the Palestinian resistance and people.” On October 10, a senior employee for the most significant Palestinian human rights NGO Al-Haq, Ziad Hmaidan, openly incited violence in a Facebook post calling for jihad in southern Israel.