Gaza Strip

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Gaza Strip

The Gaza Strip is a narrow coastal strip of land that runs along the Mediterranean Sea. With a population of 1.4 million, almost all Arabs (who claim to be "Palestinians"), in an area of only 139 square miles, it is one of the most densely populated areas in the world and has been littered with refugee camps. The strip takes its name from Gaza, the main city.

History

Historically the Gaza Strip was part of the land controlled by ancient Israel after the removal of the Philistines. An Islamic area since the Islamic conquest of the 7th century, it was controlled by the British after World War I and was to be a part of an independent "Palestinian" state in 1948 based upon a UN partition, but the first Arab-Israeli War saw Israel take most of the region that would have made the Arab state and Egypt absorbed the Gaza Strip, which overflowed with refugees from the war. In 1967 Israel overran the area in the Six Day War and administered the region. They built settlements, but these never attracted many people and only 10,000 Israelis lived there by 2005 among the Arab residents. The Israeli government withdrew, with strong objections from the settlers, leaving the area under the control of the Palestinian Authority. In 2007, Hamas overran the Palestinian Authority and took de facto control for themselves.

Hostilities in late 2008-present

Terrorists are still attacking Israel from the Gaza strip with missiles. In response to this, Israel is bombarding the strip in order to prevent more threats to its population on the border. On January 3, 2009 Israel has started a ground campaign in Gaza. It was preceded by an artillery barrage to soften the border so Israeli troops could cross safer. The campaign was against Hamas targets and Israel never had any plans to reoccupy the land. Hamas, rather than stop firing rockets into Gaza has begun sabre rattling and stated that they will kidnap and kill invading Israeli soldiers and cause mental illness from the horrors they will bring them. They have also stated that they will begin suicide attacks again.[4]


Today

A very poor and desolate area, the residents of the area live in poverty and squalor, mainly due to the control of their daily lives by Hamas. The Strip is not self-sufficient and counts on outside aid, but Hamas takes most foreign aid for itself to manufacture more bombs and rockets. There is continued friction with Israel with home made rockets being fired by the Gaza residents and occasional open fighting. Hamas does not recognize Israel's right to exist. The Strip has been the source of many suicide missions against Israel as well Kasam rocket fire against the settlements and towns of southern Israel.

Israel controls the Gaza strip’s airspace and offshore maritime access, in order to prevent more materials being given to Hamas terrorists.

Blacks

Afro Palestinians in Gaza

The majority of families with dark skin in Gaza originate from Sudan and Egypt, many of them came to work in the Ottoman Empire's army hundreds of years ago.[1]

Wealthy Arab families in Gaza participated in the slave trade.[1]

Black Palestinians constitute a minority of one per cent of the total population of the two million inhabitants living in Gaza Strip.[2]

They have to work twice as hard to prove himself. Many black Palestinians are not considered for jobs that require direct communication or interaction with customers..[2]

Majority of Palestinians do not marry black Palestinians, although recently there have been some changes in mentality..[2]

In some areas, it is strictly forbidden for Arab Palestinians to marry black Palestinians, but in other areas..[2]

The situation is worse for black Palestinian women — while dark-skinned men may be able to marry light-skinned Palestinians, the reverse is mostly not accepted..[2]

Some mixed races couples are threatened by family of the Arab side to renounce him in the newspapers..[2]

Sometimes the racism is expressed nonverbally through looks.

Some tell of discriminatory experiences growing up. Racist taunts toward Gaza’s African minority are not uncommon, despite centurieslong African migration to Palestine.[1]


One interviewed:[1]

Abed al-Rawagh, 21, who works at a grocery store at the neighborhood’s entrance, told Al-Monitor that racism affects his business. “I don’t feel discriminated against until a white girl or woman comes to buy from the grocery store. As soon as she sees me, she changes her mind about buying and leaves. There’s a widespread belief that a black man would harm her. That offends me.”
Another one tells[1] about experience right after Hamas took control:
...after the split in 2007. “The policeman looked inside a taxi and ordered the two dark-skinned men inside, us, to step out. So my brother and I stepped out, and we headed to the search location. After they made sure that we weren’t suspects, we went back to the car. I felt very insulted. The driver asked me why. I told him ‘It seems we are now in Chicago!'”


Security forces have been recently (2017) very harsh on black Palestinians. Like selecting them out for further security checks.[2]

Attitudes towards black Israelis

Reporter (in 2019) 'The thing that drives Palestinians crazy most at checkpoints - that an Ethiopian soldier checks on them.' A "slave" as they see them.[3]


See related:

Christians in Gaza Strip

The Arab Palestinians are roughly 94% Muslim.

The Gaza Strip is currently under the control of Hamas, an Islamic terrorist organization. Christians face persecution and pressure to convert and have next to no rights.[4] There are three churches in Gaza:Baptist,Orthodox and Catholic. [5][6] [7]

At least since 2012, Gaza Christians sense pressure to convert to Islam [8]

2019 report cited "Islamic oppression" as the main source of persecution at Christian small minority of Arab Palestinians.[9]

Bigotry

A 2011 survey found, 73% of Palestinians in W. Bank, Gaza agree (today in age, "realistically") with 'hadith' quoted in Hamas Charter about the need to kill Jews hiding behind stones, trees. And 53% were in favor or teaching songs about hating Jews in Palestinian schools.[10]

A 2014 poll showed, most Palestinians want to eliminate Israel.[11]

In 2020, 93% of West Bank and Gaza population harbor anti-Semitic attitudes.[12]

Anti American

On Jan 22, 2022, during Gaza rally in support of Houthis in Yemen, chants of 'Death ro the Saud clan!' And 'America is the Great Satan!'[13]

Kuwaiti Journalist:[14]
The Palestinians Supported Saddam's Invasion of Kuwait, Hitler in WWII – Now They Support the Houthis, IRGC; Arabs Today Are Less Inclined to Support the Palestinians Cause

See also

Suicide bomber: a personal account

External links

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Asmaa al-Ghoul, "Black Palestinians shrug off racism, Al Monitor, November 4, 2013.

    GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip — “Hey, chocolate,” “Hey, cappuccino,” “Hey, Galaxy [brand of chocolate],” “Hey, brown one” and “Hey, black one,” are jocular expressions used by some in Gaza when a man, woman or child of African descent passes by. Sometimes the racism is expressed nonverbally through looks. Gazans, however, seem unaware of this racism.

    Al-Monitor met with political activist Samah al-Rawagh, 33, at her home and asked her whether she experienced any discrimination due to her skin color. She made light of the matter. Yet, when her father Ahmad al-Rawagh, 80, recounted incidents he had experienced involving racism, Samah was shocked. “That’s the first time I’ve heard such stories from you,” she said.

    “I struggled a lot to overcome the difficulties caused by the color of my skin. I always had to doubly prove myself at school, at work and in life, because I’m dark-skinned,” Ahmad said...

    Ahmad remembers when he was a teacher in the late 1950s, and one of his colleagues invited everyone, except him, to a wedding. “That day, I felt embarrassed, and I decided that no one in my family would go through such an experience,” he said...

    Samah agreed with her father and added, “I never felt that the color of my skin made me different from others. I always had the best toys and clothing. I studied in a private school, and I felt that people liked me. Sometimes, I heard comments that bothered me, but this is the first time I’ve heard about my father’s suffering.”

    Samah did not deny that she has been hearing more discriminatory words recently, but she denied that it is about hate. “I hear phrases such as ‘Hey, Galaxy.’ But I sometimes feel that it’s banter, rarely for the purpose of harassing me,” she said...

    "Africans first entered Palestine during the Islamic conquests, specifically when Caliph Omar ibn al-Khattab entered Jerusalem, accompanied by a number of Africans. African communities from Chad, Nigeria, Sudan and Senegal came in the late 19th century, either for worship or to participate in the resistance," Bakhit noted in an interview with Al-Monitor.

    According to Gaza Through History, a book by Ibrahim Sakik, wealthy families in the Gaza Strip participated in the slave trade hundreds of years ago. Another book, Delighting in the Wealth of Gaza's History, notes that some of the residents of the Palestinian village of Berbera were dark-skinned people who came from Morocco.

    The "black neighborhood"

    Next to the Rawagh family’s home there is an entire area on Jala Street inhabited by dark-skinned Gazans. The people and taxi drivers refer to it as the “black neighborhood” or the “dark-skinned neighborhood."

    Mohammed Abu Rashed, 13, who is a talented soccer player and dreams of becoming like Lionel Messi, recounted his experience to Al-Monitor. “At school, they say ‘Hey, chocolate,’ but I don’t pay attention to them.” His friend Ahed, 17, interrupted and said, “Liar. We do get bothered.” ...

    Abed al-Rawagh, 21, who works at a grocery store at the neighborhood’s entrance, told Al-Monitor that racism affects his business. “I don’t feel discriminated against until a white girl or woman comes to buy from the grocery store. As soon as she sees me, she changes her mind about buying and leaves. There’s a widespread belief that a black man would harm her. That offends me.”..

    Bakhit, who lives in the Nuseirat camp in central Gaza, recalled an incident with one of the security services in Gaza after the split in 2007. “The policeman looked inside a taxi and ordered the two dark-skinned men inside, us, to step out. So my brother and I stepped out, and we headed to the search location. After they made sure that we weren’t suspects, we went back to the car. I felt very insulted. The driver asked me why. I told him ‘It seems we are now in Chicago!'”
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 "Black Palestinians face subtle racism in Gaza." Ahmed Alnaouq, Special to Gulf News. May 05, 2017.

    Obaid, who believes his ancestors came from Sudan, says he has to work twice as hard to prove himself.

    Gaza: Black Palestinians constitute a minority of one per cent of the total population of the two million inhabitants living in Gaza Strip.

    While its is difficult to accurately pin their exact origins, many say they came from Ghana, Sudan and Egypt — or at least that’s what has been passed down through their oral history.

    Many first came to Palestine during the Islamic conquests as slaves to serve their owners in the seventh century.

    It is also reported that another wave of Africans emigrated to Palestine in the late 19th century to work as merchants or fighters under the rule of the Ottoman Empire.

    Despite their deep roots in Palestine, many still encounter racism and discrimination, although it is to a much less degree as how poorly people of colour are treated in other countries — particularly the US.

    Mohammad Obaid, 26, a folklore dancer and founder of the Dabke Club for children, thinks his ancestors originally came from Sudan.

    “My grandparents worked as merchants in 1948 areas, which is considered Beersheba in Israel today..."

    At least 11,000 black Palestinians live in Al Jalla’a district of Gaza in a neighbourhood called “Al Abeed” which means slaves in Arabic...

    Although there is no official discriminatory policy against black Palestinians, Obaid says that subtle racism makes his life more difficult than lighter skinned Palestinians.

    “If I wasn’t the best dancer, I wouldn’t be on the Dabke team,” he said.

    “I always have to prove myself twice as much as others.”

    Many black Palestinians are not considered for jobs that require direct communication or interaction with customers.

    The majority of Palestinians do not marry black Palestinians, although recently there have been some changes in mentality.

    “Where I live, people accept to marry black Palestinians, but in other areas it is strictly forbidden,” he said.

    It is worse for black Palestinian women — while dark-skinned men may be able to marry light-skinned Palestinians, the reverse is mostly not accepted.

    “I knew a couple who were in love but the father of the would-be groom threatened to renounce him in the newspapers. Sadly, they separated,” he said.

    And Obaid says the security forces have been recently very harsh on black Palestinians.

    When the cops pulled him and his friends over recently, he was the only one from the passengers pulled out for further security checks.

    He took his anger out by writing a poem directed at the police entitled “Blacks are not security suspects”...

    “The police treatment has gotten worse, so for the first time I thought about leaving.”

    But for Karama, a 34-year-old Palestinian woman, who has a black father and white mother, race has never gotten in the way of her success.

    “I personally haven’t experienced any discrimination,” she told Gulf News.

    “Blacks are sometimes preferred by some organisations who seek diversity.”

    Karama has participated and led many different social work initiatives and ceremonies, but she acknowledges that having a white mother could be the reason.

    “I know in other areas of Gaza, people are not as accepting.”
  3. "The thing that drives Palestinians crazy most at checkpoints - that an Ethiopian soldier checks on them", Maariv Online, 05/07/2019.
    [1]

    [Soldier at Qalandiya checkpoint, archive (photographers have nothing to do with what is said in the article) (Photo: Flash 90)]

    Commentator Zvika Yehezkeli referred to the way Ethiopians protested in the Arab and Palestinian media: "A Gaza worker told me he could not accept that a slave would check on me."

    ... In general the whole matter of the dark-skinned in the Arab countries and also in Islam is a huge story of its own. "... Abd - slave in Arabic - an inferior slave who is bought is black, dark-skinned."

    You told me that you came across this this week when you were in Gaza and met workers from Gaza there.

    "True. First of all I also met it in the territories but this week I got it really strong. I came to Gaza with Alon Ben David, we did an article in the envelope to mark five years to the war. Put him in the Kerem Shalom crossing. In this crossing there is the part where Israel unloads the goods The Palestinian forklifts from Gaza. I asked them to let me in their part to talk to them as freely as possible. It is difficult for them to really say what they think about the Gaza government. When the camera went down on the floor they spoke more freely. Mine is near Ashkelon I will go back there and it will be okay, you are fine. I told him but you always want to send us to places where our parents came, to Iraq. He says to me 'I have no problem with you, I have a problem with Ethiopians and Russians. "And I can not accept that a slave will examine me."

    I mean he can not have an Ethiopian soldier be in position and check on him?

    "Yes. Islam from its inception and even before Islam, all Arab signs would buy black slaves in Africa. The color black is an inferior color in Islamic society."

    So what does it do to him when an Ethiopian soldier stands in front of him?

    "Oh ... do you know what he told me? 'I can not stand this thing. This is for me the greatest humiliation I get - that you put an Ethiopian soldier.' Look how much this social stratification of colors is imprinted, and so it was in Africa. Today in Africa - the horrific massacre in Darfur was among those who are less dark-skinned and darker-skinned. The word slave is black in Arabic. Even the word crembo is the head of Africans, blacks because crembo is dark. Western countries will stop stopping the slave trade. "The color black is perceived as inferior, and the thing that drives them crazy the most is us with Ethiopian soldiers checking them out and it really drives them crazy."
  4. http://www.opendoorsuk.org/persecution/worldwatch/palestinian_territories.php
  5. http://www.worldmag.com/2010/04/tested_by_fire
  6. http://www.explorecorps.org/Reports_From_The_Field/Entries/2009/2/15_Gazas_Church_of_Saint_Porphyrius.html
  7. http://www.indcatholicnews.com/news.php?viewStory=25263
  8. Nidal al-Mughrabi, "Gaza Christians sense pressure to convert to Islam", Reuters, July 26, 2012
  9. A Christian crisis in Gaza and the West Bank, The Jerusalem Post, Dec 25, 2019.
    In the Gaza Strip, the Christian population has plummeted from about 3,000 a decade ago to an estimated 1,000 today, most of them Greek Orthodox.
    ...

    “Though the Christians in the PA avoid saying so publicly, many of them fear – with good reason – that Muslim aggression against them will only escalate,” wrote Edy Cohen, a researcher at the center. “Such fears are all the stronger in light of the thunderous silence of the Western [and Israeli] media, in the face of the Christian minority’s ongoing disappearance from the PA and Islamic lands in general.”

    He added, pointedly, that “the ongoing international neglect of the plight of the Christians under PA rule can only lead to the vanishing of Christianity from the place where it emerged.”

    In the Gaza Strip, the Christian population has plummeted from about 3,000 a decade ago to an estimated 1,000 today, most of them Greek Orthodox...

    The situation of Christians in Bethlehem has deteriorated dramatically in the last century, and especially since the PA took control of the city in 1995. In 1947, Christians comprised about 85% of the city’s population, but that figure had plunged to 16% by 2016, and is estimated since then.

    Bethlehem’s mayor at the time said that, “Due to the stress – either physical or psychological – and the bad economic situation, many people are emigrating: either Christians or Muslims, but it is more apparent among Christians because they already are a minority.”

    A study by the Pew Research Center found that the decline in the Arab Christian population was both a result of a lower birth rate among Christians compared to Muslims and the fact that Christians were more likely to emigrate than any other religious group. A statistical analysis of the Christian exodus cited a lack of economic and educational opportunities among a community known for its middle-class status and higher education.
  10. Gil Stern Hoffman, 6 in 10 Palestinians reject 2-state solution, survey finds, JPost, July 15, 2011.

    73% of 1,010 Palestinians in W. Bank, Gaza agree with 'hadith' quoted in Hamas Charter about the need to kill Jews hiding behind stones, trees. ... 53% were in favor or teaching songs about hating Jews in Palestinian schools.

    When given a quote from the Hamas Charter about the need for battalions from the Arab and Islamic world to defeat the Jews, 80% agreed. Seventy-three percent agreed with a quote from the charter (and a hadith, or tradition ascribed to the .. Muhammad) about the need to kill Jews hiding behind stones and trees.
  11. Staff, [https://www.timesofisrael.com/poll-palestinians-backing-2-states-become-minority/ Poll: Most Palestinians want to eliminate Israel, TOI, 25 June 2014.
    Less than 30% back two-state solution, though most are opposed to violent resistance, and Hamas seems to have gained little support from kidnapping.
  12. ADL. / Global 100 [2] West Bank and Gaza 2020: 93% Index Score, 93%. 1,900,000 people in this country harbor anti-Semitic attitudes. 2,030,259 Adult population.
  13. Chants Of 'Death To The Saud Clan!' And 'America Is The Great Satan!' During Gaza Rally In Support Of Houthis In Yemen, Memri, Jan 22, 2022. [3]

    On January 22, 2022, videos were uploaded to several YouTube channels of demonstrations in Gaza in support of the Houthis in Yemen. The demonstrators waved Palestinian and Yemeni flags and posters with the images of IRGC Qods Force Commander General Qasem Soleimani, of Hizbullah Chief of Staff Imad Mughniyah, and Hizbullah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah. The demonstrators chanted: "Death to the Saud clan!... America is the Great Satan!" Leader: "Salutations from Gaza!"

    Crowd: "Salutations from Gaza!"
  14. MEMRIReports Tweeted (Feb 2, 2022):
    Kuwaiti Journalist Abdallah Muhammad Al-Mulla: The Palestinians Supported Saddam's Invasion of Kuwait, Hitler in WWII – Now They Support the Houthis, IRGC; Arabs Today Are Less Inclined to Support the Palestinians Cause.