50,000 Arabs have left Gaza since last JuneSuit-and-tie clad unelected 'Palestinian' President Salam Fayyad told a Bethlehem conference on economic development in the 'Palestinian' territories on Tuesday that some 50,000 Arabs have left Gaza since Hamas took over last June and many times that number would like to leave.
Fayyad linked the exodus to the fighting between Hamas and Fatah, which resulted in the Hamas take-over of Gaza and a sharp decline in international aid to Gaza. PA sources admit that the clash has caused a great rift among the Arabs of the PA-controlled areas (Gaza, Judea, and Samaria), weakened the PA's international status, shaken internal security - and brought about increased emigration.In April, I reported that some 80% of Gaza residents want to leave, but this is the first time that the 'Palestinian Authority' admits it. Of course, we have to keep in mind that this is Hamas' rivals speaking and they have an interest in making Hamas look as bad as possible. Still, I have no reason to doubt the report. In fact, I wonder what percentage of the Arabs in Judea and Samaria would like to leave. Don't expect anyone to tell us that one anytime soon.
Conference organizer Hassan Abu Libdeh agreed: "There is a Palestinian brain drain [a WHAT? CiJ] caused by the difficulties of living here," he said.
A year ago, in May 2007, the Mufti of Jerusalem for the PA, Sheikh Muhammed Amin Hussein, issued a religious ruling banning emigration from "the land of Palestine." Hussein acknowledged in his ruling at the time that many young Arabs are flooding foreign embassies in an effort to receive residency permits.
50,000 in less than a year? Not bad.