Photo Credit: Atia Mohammed / Flash 90
Gazan worker unloads a truck with humanitarian aid at the Hamas-controlled side of the Rafah border crossing with Egypt, October 21, 2023.

Most people who live in Gaza but would prefer to be elsewhere have a hard time leaving the enclave thanks to Egypt’s capricious management of its Rafah crossing, the sole exit from Gaza that is not located on the Israeli border.

Not everyone in Gaza is so trapped, however: those who have the means to pay a baksheesh fee (a bribe) of $10,000 a head to get their names on the list of people allowed to leave do manage to get out, according to a report by The Guardian.

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Gazans who spoke with the news outlet said they are being asked to pay “coordination fees” by a network of fixers, brokers and couriers who allegedly have ties to the Egyptian intelligence services in charge of the exit list.

One Palestinian Authority Arab who is in the United States said he initially paid $9,000 three weeks ago to ensure his wife and children would get on the list — but when it came time for them to travel, he was informed that his children’s names were not listed and that he would have to fork over another $3,000 to solve the problem. It’s not clear whether he paid the extra bribe or not; the bottom line is that his family is still in Gaza.

Another dual Gaza-US citizen quoted by The Guardian, Belal Baroud, said he was told he needed to pay $85,000 for his 11-member family to get on the exit list. His family also remains in Gaza thus far.

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for Babble.com, Chabad.org and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.