• Khan Yunis

  • Friday, December 1, 2023 at 7:09 AM
    Last Update : Monday, December 4, 2023 at 1:46 PM

Some Gazans Contemplate Emigration Amidst Harsh War Conditions

(AWP) - The difficult circumstances endured by Gazans have led some of the survivors of the Israeli campaign that began last month, contemplating their future in shelters for displaced persons, to entertain a previously unthinkable idea: the possibility of emigration.

Amidst the crowded tents of those displaced from their homes in the northern Gaza Strip, and the massive destruction that has flattened the region and eliminated the most basic necessities of life there, thoughts of emigration are not far away.

Fadi Fawaz sits on a broken chair between the clotheslines in front of his plastic tent as he watches his children play in a UNRWA-affiliated shelter centre in Khan Yunis, in the southern Gaza Strip. He expects everyone around him to ponder emigrating in light of the current situation.

“Currently, in light of the reality in which we live, no human being in their right mind would think about anything other than emigration, with the war and living in tents, where the minimum necessities of life do not exist. But after the war, if stability and security return, we will have nothing good except in our country,” he said.

After losing his house and job and ending up living in a tent for the displaced, Palestinian legal councillor Fawzi Fawaz hides his anger and disappointment as he reveals the reasons that have led him to choose emigration when the Rafah crossing towards Egypt is open.

"I mean, someone my age, I never thought about emigrating, but after what has been happening to us continuously, people have started thinking about things that never crossed their minds before. I am thinking of leaving Gaza in order to secure the future of my children. The eldest among them is eight years old,” he said, pointing to his sons, one of whom is only an infant.

“The world has seen that there is no more a place called Gaza. Residential squares have been demolished, and schools, universities, mosques and shops are now lifeless. I am not thinking about emigration because I do not want to live in Gaza. Emigration was imposed on me, because I want to secure a future for my children," he added.

Fawzi’s mother, Umm Fawzi, did not like what she was hearing from her son, as she does not want him to leave. She said that, "we do not have children so that they will die or emigrate".

"This is all unjust. This is my son. He wanted to emigrate when he finished university. I did not raise him up for 25 years so he can leave me and emigrate. I paid with my blood for my children so they can leave me?" she asked.

On the other hand, displaced Palestinian lawyer Mohammed Bassem Obeid does not intend to leave Gaza despite the war and the destruction that has continued since Israel first launched its war against the Strip on October 7th.

"This is sacred land, and whoever wants to reside in this land must pay the price for that. The one who does not want to pay the price is the one who wants to emigrate," he said, while preparing bread on a firewood stove outside his tent.

“I think that a very small group thinks about leaving, and that those who speak about it do so under the pressure of war, but when they return to their normal lives, they will return to their usual way of thinking."