A Tale of Two Gazas: Power and Luxury for Hamas, Unlivable Slum for the Rest

How Israel's siege, and Palestinian disunity, feed both the ‘resistance’ prestige and extravagant lifestyles of Gaza's Hamas elite, while young Palestinians are literally dying to escape

Muhammad Shehada
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Muhammad Shehada

Last week, an overcrowded, unseaworthy dinghy lacking any navigational tools capsized between the Greek island of Kos and Turkey’s Bodrum resort. Eleven Gazans on board were stranded at sea for two hours in pitch darkness until eight of them were arrested by Turkish coastguard and brought to shore.

A brief audio recording from one of the survivors, Yahia Barbakh, has been the talk of town since. "Mom, it’s Yahia. Me, Boji and Al-Hinjir’s son were dying at sea. We were drowning for two hours," he says, in a tearful, terrified voice. "The police took us, and Abu Adham’s dead. He drowned, mom…the fish ate him. He’s gone."

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