I have little first hand information about the middle east. What I do have is this: As a young man with a Vespa in 1964, I would have gone to visit all the north African countries, but I got blocked at the Lebanese/Israel border by the Arab boycott, so I rode my scooter east to Singapore. Yeah, I really did, Syria, Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Thailand, Malaya, Singapore. Here's the proof. Anyway, I do have some original thoughts about Gaza that I haven't seen elsewhere, so here they are:
One day I read that the median income in Egypt is $2/day. "Amazing," I thought. "I wonder if that is true? Is that the income in Gaza too?" Google was not finding for me the basis of the $2/day so I went to the United Nations website and found the population of Egypt is 93 million. The World Bank told me the GNP of Egypt is $336 billion = 336000 million$. The number of days in the year is 365. So, dollars/person/day is 336000/(365x93) = $9 per person per day. Well, that is more than $2 per day. So, what gives? What gives is that the average dollar is different than the average person. A small number of really rich people can push the average way up. The median of $2/day means half the people get more while the other half get less.
So, I take it as entirely plausible that median income in Egypt is $2/day. When I see Gaza people on TV, they don't look like they are living on $2/day. Why would that be different from Egypt? It must be foreign aid. I know Egypt gets a billion or two in foreign aid from US and Europe. I don't know and could not find what Gaza gets and from where.
I thought about putting these observations on my website but just then there was another Israeli retaliation for the rockets incoming from Gaza. Gazan families were truly suffering. I believe we may blame the Gulf Arabs and their religion for funding that perpetual war. War is the Gazan's main way of making money.