The United Nations special coordinator for the Middle East peace process, Nickolay E. Mladenov, said the most urgent need for Gaza was to start development projects that were already approved. That would create jobs, increase access to potable water and electricity and create a more conducive atmosphere for reconciliation.
“The economy has disappeared,” he said. “Effectively, we need to revive life in Gaza.”
But after three international donor meetings in the past three months, and years of stalled projects, Mr. Mladenov said people had a right to be skeptical.
At Gaza’s main Shifa hospital, where entire floors were packed with young men recovering from gunshot wounds, many insisted they were happy to have paid such a high price. But other former protesters expressed bitter recrimination, blaming their own leaders as much as Israel.
“Our future is lost because of the Jews, and because of Hamas,” said Mahmoud Abu Omar, a 26-year-old with one arm wrapped in bandages.
He’d been shot, he said, as he aimed his slingshot across the fence. He had hoped the protests would somehow ease the frustrations of his life — his impatience to marry, to earn some money, to travel outside Gaza. They did not.