Conflict is expensive. In purely economic terms it is estimated that the conflict in Gaza will cost upwards of almost US$3 billion or 1.2 % of total economic output (for Israel). Moreover, there are the costs associated with the destruction of civilian infrastructure in Gaza — homes, schools, hospitals and Gaza’s one and only power station have not been exempted from attack. The destruction of infrastructure in Gaza is estimated to amount to US$5 billion. Then there is the loss of life. In purely numerical terms, approximately 1400 Palestinian lives have been lost. Of the lives lost, 80% were civilians, and 20% of those were children. Three Israeli civilians and a Thai national have been killed along, with 56 Israeli soldiers. There is no doubt that this loss of life will leave a scar that will take some time to heal.
However, another big casualty from this conflict, a casualty that has often been overlooked, is the loss of “the middle”. It may also be aptly described as the centre, moderates, or those willing to engage so as to bring about a resolution of the greater Israel-Palestinian conflict. This is not to say that that the middle has been completely deserted. Rather, it is evident that there is a growing polarisation in attitudes among Palestinians and Israelis towards one another.