Freeing Gazans: Israel working to help emigration of Palestinians oppressed by Hamas

Israel wants to help Gazans emigrate to other countries. 

By World Israel News Staff

The national security staff in the Prime Minister’s Office has been working for the last year to help Palestinians emigrate from the Gaza Strip, a senior political source revealed, Israel Hayom reported on Tuesday.

The project was approved by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and was discussed several times in Security Cabinet meetings, the official said. He added that according to their numbers, 35,000 Palestinians left the Gaza Strip in 2018 with no intention of returning.

“We’re talking about a large estimated negative migration,” he said.

Israel wants to encourage this migration and is willing to finance it, provided a third country can be found willing to absorb them, he said.

“Israel is even willing to arrange traffic for them, open one of the Negev airports and arrange for them to travel outside,” the official said, according to news site Ynet.

Israel has put out feelers to Middle Eastern countries to gauge their willingness to take Gazans in. So far none have agreed.

Gazans are desperate to leave the Strip, which is ruled by Hamas, a terrorist group that has imposed severe political repression.  Since Hamas took power in 2006, new elections have not been held.

With no formal plan in place, individual Gazans are taking matters into their own hands.

According to a 2019 NPR report, “Palestinians are the third-largest group after Afghans and Syrians to take the smuggling route across the Mediterranean Sea to Europe… At least 1,046 Palestinians have taken the sea route so far this year, as did 1,433 Palestinians last year. As recently as 2015, more than 6,000 Palestinians took the same route, according to [International Organization for Migration] figures.”

The terrorist leadership, focused on attacking Israel, has also offered no solutions for fixing the Strip’s tattered economy.

Under Hamas’s dictatorship, one in every two people lives in poverty with the unemployment rate standing at over 70 percent, according to a September 2018 World Bank report.

“A combination of war, isolation, and internal division has left Gaza in a crippling economic state and exacerbated the human distress,” said Marina Wes, World Bank Country Director for West Bank and Gaza at the time of the report’s release.

“A situation where people struggle to make ends meet, suffer from worsening poverty, rising unemployment and deteriorating public services such as health care, water and sanitation, calls for urgent, real and sustainable solutions,” she said.

Gaza’s economy is kept afloat by injections of cash, mainly from Qatar, which has agreed to send monthly payments. In an April 2019 update on the Palestinian economy, the World Bank said donor money “amounted to 70-80 percent of Gaza’s GDP.”

Freedom House says that “80 percent of the population depends on international assistance.”