Some Palestinian Muslims prefer to spend time in an Israeli prison rather than live in the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip. The situation has become so miserable that several Palestinian youths are prepared to endanger their lives by approaching the border with Israel.
“I’m sad that I’m back in the Gaza Strip. I went through happy times [in Israeli detention], where I had food, calm, good work, although I did not receive a salary. Those were unforgettable days where I had delicious food that we don’t have in the Gaza Strip.” — Rabi, 16, who crossed the border from Gaza and was held in detention for three months before being sent back home.
Not only is Hamas unwilling to accept any kind of responsibility, but it continues to hold everyone but itself responsible for the tragic situation n the Gaza Strip.
Instead of working to improve the living conditions of its people, Hamas is continuing to prepare for the next war against Israel. In recent weeks, Hamas increased its rocket and mortar firing tests out to sea.
Gatestone Institute Over the past two months, more than 20 Palestinians have been arrested while trying to cross from the Gaza Strip into Israel, according to Palestinian sources.
The Palestinian news website, Al-Watan Voice, interviewed two of the youths who embarked on the dangerous adventure. The two young men said they prefer the “comfort” of Israeli prisons to life in the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip.
The increase in the number of Palestinians who try to infiltrate Israel comes as Egypt continues to keep the Rafah border crossing closed. It also comes as the power struggle between Hamas and Fatah intensifies, hampering international efforts to rebuild the Gaza Strip and improve Palestinians’ living conditions in the aftermath of last summer’s military confrontation with Israel.
Rabi said, “The situation in the Gaza Strip is very difficult. My father, who once worked in Israel, told me it was beautiful there.” The last war between Hamas and Israel has resulted in a sharp rise in the number of Palestinians seeking to escape from the Gaza Strip. Last September, scores of Palestinian migrants attempting to flee the Gaza Strip died after their boat capsized in the Mediterranean Sea off the coast of northern Egypt.
It was a sight that shocked the world — the corpse of Ribhi Badawi being dragged through the streets of Gaza City Tuesday by a motorcycle as Hamas gunmen fired into the air. His crime? Collaborating with Israel to pinpoint Hamas targets. But the charge wasn’t true, the militant’s grieving widow told The News.
Actually, Badawi, 37, had spent the last four years in a Hamas prison under armed guard. He was tortured for seven months into confessing that he was working for Israel. “They burned (him) and broke his jaw and teeth,” said his widow, Kholoud Badawi. “He was hanged for 45 days by his arms and legs to make him confess. He confessed because of the torture.
The closure of the Rafah border crossing and strict Egyptian security measures in Sinai, following a spate of terror attacks on Egyptian soldiers, have forced some Palestinians to seek work and a better life in Israel. Thousands of Palestinians remain stranded on both sides of the Rafah border crossing despite repeated appeals to the Egyptian authorities to prevent a humanitarian catastrophe.
The case of the two Palestinian youths who said they prefer Israeli jail to life in the Gaza Strip shows that some Palestinians are no longer willing to tolerate Hamas’s deadly adventures and oppression. That is why the coming weeks and months could see a rise in the number of Palestinians knocking on Israel’s door and asking to be imprisoned rather than return to the Gaza Strip.