This article outlines and analyzes Israel's Gaza policy during the period from 2005 to 2010. Based on primary materials, including the testimony of Israeli officials before the Turkel Commission investigating the Mavi Marmara incident, classified documents that have come to light through Wikileaks, and Israeli government documentation, the article argues that in the wake of Israel's evacuation of the territory under its 2005 Disengagement Plan, the Gaza Strip became the object of a deliberate and sustained policy of institutionalized impoverishment. Looking at Israeli policy-making as both process and outcome, the article highlights how measures ostensibly implemented to “punish” Hamas—from the incremental tightening of restrictions to the imposition of a full blockade, in addition to periodic military assaults—have pauperized a large proportion of Gaza's more than 1.5 million inhabitants.
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