By Khaled Abu Toameh, Gatestone Institute—-
A tragedy that recently hit the Gaza Strip has again exposed the extent of the suffering of Palestinians under the rule of the Iranian-backed group, Hamas.
The tragedy also serves as a reminder of the double standards of the international community in dealing with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, especially the obsession with Israel and the tendency to ignore any wrongdoing on the Palestinian side.
According to reports from the Gaza Strip, at least three Palestinians who fled the Hamas-controlled coastal enclave went missing, apparently after their boat capsized off the shores of Greece and Turkey. The three were among dozens of Palestinians seeking a better life away from the repression and corruption of Hamas.
One of the victims was identified as 25-year-old Anas Abu Rajileh; another was Nasrallah al-Farra.
The incident attracted extensive attention among Palestinians because of an audio recording by one of the Palestinian emigrants on the boat. In the recording — a voice message he sent his mother in the Gaza Strip — the young man is telling his mother that one of his friends has drowned. He asks her to notify the friend’s family. “Mother,” the man is heard saying, “we are drowning and the fish are eating us.”
Many young people from the Gaza Strip who are able to save or secure enough money have in recent years been fleeing to other countries through Turkey and Greece. They reportedly pay thousands of dollars in bribes to Hamas officials, Egyptian border guards and smugglers to help them leave the Gaza Strip to start a new life in Europe and other countries.
A public opinion poll conducted by Al-Aqsa University in the Gaza Strip last year showed that 51% of young people living in Gaza would willingly migrate if they were given the opportunity to do so. Continue Reading….