More Palestinians flee homelandsThis is very good news, unfortunately, I read somewhere that the EU is again trying to figure out how to get more money to the Palestinians.
By SARAH EL DEEB, Associated Press Writer Sat Dec 9, 1:42 PM ET
A technician armed with $7,000 in savings and a tourist visa plans to seek political asylum in Europe. Travel agents report a brisk demand for visas to Cuba, one of the few places that welcomes Palestinians. More than 20 factories have moved out of Gaza in recent months.
Driven by fear of civil war and increasingly bleak economic prospects, Palestinians are fleeing their violence-wracked lands in growing numbers. Many are skilled and educated, and are leaving behind an increasingly impoverished and fundamentalist society.
The brain drain reverses a trend of the 1990s when, fueled by peace hopes, thousands of well-to-do Palestinians returned from the diaspora to the West Bank and Gaza, building homes and setting up businesses.
Palestinians have emigrated in large numbers before, a response to decades of war, unrest and displacement, but Palestinian government officials fear this is a particularly strong wave.
The emigration is hurting Palestinian prospects for statehood, says pollster Nader Said. "What Israel couldn't do by force," he said, "we were able to do with internal dispute, lack of leadership, accompanied by economic pressure and the siege on Gaza."
Some 10,000 Palestinians emigrated between June and October and another 45,000 have made preparations to leave, said Ahmed Suboh, a Palestinian Foreign Ministry official, citing reports from Palestinian missions abroad. He did not have comparisons to previous years or a breakdown of destination countries.
Emigration from Gaza, in particular, has picked up.
Life in the fenced-in strip has become increasingly difficult following Israel's pullout last year. Access to neighboring Egypt is easier, but crossing points into Israel have remained closed most of the time because of Israeli security concerns.
The story also said that many of those emigrants are bound for Canada. Canada, crazy Canada.