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September 12, 2012

Where's the Coverage? The Gaza Strip Millionaires

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In the numerous articles written about Gaza, the press nearly always describes the Hamas-controlled area as "impoverished." But that description is at odds with the findings of a recently completed study of the region. Khaled Abu Toameh writes at the Gatestone Institute:

The world often thinks of the Gaza Strip, home to 1.4 million Palestinians, as one of the poorest places on earth, where people live in misery and squalor.

But according to an investigative report published in the pan-Arab newspaper Asharq Al-Awsat, there are at least 600 millionaires living in the Gaza Strip. The newspaper report also refutes the claim that the Gaza Strip has been facing a humanitarian crisis because of an Israeli blockade.

Mohammed Dahlan, the former Palestinian Authority security commander of the Gaza Strip, further said last week that Hamas was the only party that was laying siege to the Gaza Strip; that it is Hamas, and not Israel or Egypt, that is strangling and punishing the people there.

You read that correctly. There are at least 600 millionaires living in the Gaza Strip. Maybe even more. In August, The Economist quoted Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas talking about the "800 millionaires and 1,600 near-millionaires" in Gaza.

None of this information made it into Isabel Kershner’s article about a United Nations report in The Boston Globe, ("Gaza may be unlivable by 2020, report says"):

Despite some economic growth last year, 80 percent of Gaza households receive some form of assistance, according to the report, and 39 percent of the residents live below the poverty line. Unemployment was 29 percent in 2011. The report said many Gazans faced food insecurity, primarily because of poverty rather than a shortage of food.

And what does the "newspaper of record" have to say about the millionaires in Gaza? Not a mention in Jodi Rudoren’s "'Forgotten Neighborhood' Underscores the Poverty of an Isolated Enclave" (Also noted by Leo Rennert in The American Thinker):

In the Forgotten Neighborhood, houses have walls but no floors: people sit, eat and sleep on the sand.

[…]

During Ramadan last month, several neighborhood families slaughtered a lame horse and used its meat for kebabs because they could not afford beef or lamb; some mornings, Reem al-Ghora did not wake her daughters for the predawn, prefast meal, she said, "because there was no food."

It's just a thought, but maybe some of the millionaires in Gaza could help these people out. You haven't heard much about the millionaires in Gaza? Hmmm… Where's the coverage?

Oh, and in case you're wondering what became of these unfortunate people, The New York Times published a "world brief" September 12 about the demolition of more than a dozen homes in Gaza… by Hamas. In the wake of the previous Times article -- or maybe it's a coincidence -- Gaza authorities sent bulldozers to raze the neighborhood, as reported in the article:

Amal Shamaly, a spokeswoman for the Land Authority, said that all "illegal building" on government land would be removed, and that a security compound was planned for the area.

The original "forgotten neighborhood" article, which of course blamed Israel for the plight of Gaza residents, ran almost 1400 words. The brief on the demolitions that can't be blamed on Israel ran 169 words. Without pictures. And not on the front page, above the fold either.

Posted by SC at September 12, 2012 11:54 PM

Comments

They should also post some of he photographs that are available showing the luxurious apartment buildings and shopping malls that are in Gaza. All we read and see are the refugee camps.

Posted by: Lou VanDelman at September 15, 2012 08:36 AM

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