Norman G. Finkelstein, October 18th 2014
“Everything is different this time,” says Sara Roy. This time, she says, the Gaza Strip cannot simply be rebuilt; the wounds of this last war could prove too severe to heal. The 1.8 million inhabitants of this thin coastal region have no hope of any immediate improvement of their situation following this summer’s Israeli military offensive known as “Protective Edge”.
As a result, for the first time in recent history, a true exodus is taking place. Hundreds of Palestinians have already fled the Gaza Strip. They have been smuggled through tunnels under the border to Egypt where they have boarded ships to cross the Mediterranean. “People are simply leaving. They are fleeing from the intolerable conditions in Gaza,” says the Boston academic.
Just the other week, a ship with 500 passengers, many of them Palestinians from Gaza, sunk off the coast of Malta. “This has never happened before,” stresses Roy. “Even in the worst of times, people never considered abandoning the Gaza Strip.” Now, however, Palestinians from all social strata and all political camps are leaving. Even members of Hamas and Islamic Jihad are sending their children abroad to give them the chance of a better future.